What Do Readers Want?

By on October 16, 2020

Understanding what your readers want is key to any piece of writing. Whether you are crafting a blog post, writing content for an advertisement, creating your memoir, or plotting your novel. If you don't take the time to consider what who your reader is and what they might hope to gain from reading your work, then you will have a hard job writing something that resonates with them. In fact, you will have an even harder one convincing anyone that they should take some time out of their precious day to read what you have written in the first place.

Discovering what motivates readers, what inspires them, and what makes them tick is all part and parcel of being a good and successful writer. You need not only to understand what kinds of things they like to read, but also, why? You not only need to know they like a tragic love story or a hard-hitting crime drama, but what it is that makes them weep for the two young lovers that are torn apart or keeps them glued to the page, heart beating a little faster as they try to work out whodunnit.

Answering the question, 'what do my readers want?' will give you a unique insight that will help you craft a novel that excites them, thrills them, moves them, and leaves them clamoring for more.

Of course, readers come in all shapes and sizes and want many different things. It is up to the author to work out what kind of audience might enjoy the story they want to write, but then to go out and find them and learn about them and carry them around in their heads like a little imaginary confidant and always ask them: 'Is this the way forward? What should I make happen next?'

There are, however, some things that all readers want. They want a well-crafted, smart, and engaging story with a strong beginning, a page-turning middle, and a profoundly satisfying conclusion. They want drama, want a protagonist they can relate to, feel a range of emotions when reading, and become lost in an immersive world. They want compelling characters who are unique and exciting and mysterious and complicated and human (even if they are not humans). They want a book that is thoughtfully crafted and free form errors and is easy to understand and subtly shows them the way things are without telling them how it is and trust them to interpret the story correctly and gives them space to do so. They also want honesty; they don't want to be tricked into thinking they are reading something they are not, or given false promises or left with unanswered questions and confusion.

So, the advice to all writers, whatever they are writing, is this: know your reader, and use what you know to create the perfect piece of writing just for them and deliver it in the best possible way. If you can do that, and you have really kept your reader in mind, there is no reason to believe that your work won't be a success.

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadmancreates.com

About Beth Cadman

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