Thursday, November 17, 2011
How are you touching your reader?
Since the beginning of time, a writer's responsibility has been to fulfill people's needs. Readers want the writing to flow well enough to clearly provide one of the following:
A - answers
B - happiness
C - understanding
I don't care what you write or how you package it, you deliver one of these for a reader, or the book doesn't get finished, assuming it's ever bought.
A romance novel can entertain or let someone escape from a less than entertaining reality. It's happiness or a temporary answer to a problem. A self-help book can provide all three. A teen might find answers, happiness and understanding in a story about a youth just like her.
Maybe you write sci-fi or mystery or historical fiction. You might think your work doesn't apply to the Rule of Three. If you've fleshed out the characters and layered the plot, you are catering to it. You create a seamless world that draws in the reader, carrying him away.
People read to seek answers to their problems. Sometimes that's a straight forward how-to book. Other times it's more obtuse, such as when an answer is found in a character's handling of his trying issues in a suspense novel.
Same goes for magazines and blogs. You answer a question, deliver happiness or provide understanding or people pass by your words for others that assuage their wants.
It isn't just about the active verbs or passive voice. It isn't about your need to write. Ultimately, it has nothing to do with you. It's all about souls searching, wanting, needing. The talented writer aims for the heart, the head or the soul of these folks, filling their voids, improving their qualify of life.
How are you touching readers?