Tuesday, January 16, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

So at one point I came up with a great idea for an author guide. It would help people AND make money. Cool, right?

Only, the working title is 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it)--excellent title, except I only have nine.

Sooooo here they are, one month at a time.

Writers are artistes, needing no one to complete their art. Right, or wrong?

Let's take a closer look. With a symphony or movie, dozens if not hundreds of people are required to bring the composer or playwright's art into being.

With an author, there's just one, right?


You have one other person you have to consider. The reader.

The reader brings their expectations, imaginations, and life experience to your work, and complete it.

Many authors forget the reader is an integral part of their art. Many also haven't heard of the implicit contract with the reader.

You promise to give the reader a great read. Moreover, by the very way you present your book, the type of cover, the blurb, and title, you have promised to give your reader a certain type of great read.

Break that contract at your own peril.

Don't believe me? Consider what would happen if I title my story "Sherlock Holmes and the Egyptian Mystery" -- you'd be justified in expecting a mystery with some tie to ancient Egypt. What if it's a romance between a cat and dog in a New York alley? Did you feel that little jarring in your gut?

Yes. That's a thing that will lose you readers.

Easy fix. Write your title and blurb. Give it to a reader (or give yourself fresh reader's eyes by putting your manuscript aside for a month or two).

Ask them to tell you what they expect from this book. (Is it the story you wrote? If not, you may need to tweak your title or blurb.)

Then give them the story. After they read it, ask them if the story met, exceeded, or confounded their expectations.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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