What Do Readers Really Want?

My companion blogger, Melissa Ohnoutka, started a new interview series today called, What Do Readers Really Want?  These are interview with Readers who are NOT also Writers.  I think this is a great idea, and I’m eager to see the ongoing results.


I’m tentatively expecting the answer to be: Readers want different things.  That’s certainly been my experience with my first-round readers. 

  • Kate wants a happy ending.  When she reads a book besides mine, she reads the last few pages and if the ending’s not happy, she chooses another book.
  • Hallie wants depth, character development, texture and richness (none of which Kate cares a bit about).
  • Tops on Larry’s list is the story.
  • I don’t know if this is what Aliceann ALWAYS wants, but in my books what she loves most is the humor.

But maybe there are universal wants.

Here’s another curious piece of this puzzle.  Over the years, I’ve met a lot of writers who attempt to write what readers want.  They stay on top of the hot trends, and write what’s selling today.  There’s a fortune to be made in Young Adult–they’re gonna try their hand at writing YA.

Not a thing wrong with that, and it’s probably the best way to succeed as a professional writer in a fickle and fast-moving industry.  But I’m incapable of doing it.  I write what I write because it pleases me, and if it doesn’t please me then it’s not fun, it’s work which becomes mind-numbing work and ultimately, it doesn’t get written.  I’m VERY disciplined as a writer, but the secret is, I’m capable of being disciplined because I love it.

So if Melissa’s interviews come back and tell us that what readers want is good old-fashioned love stories with tight plots and mysterious twists and turns that takes place in a world that obeys the rules of physics, I’m shit out of luck.  Guess I’d just keep writing for my village and be satisfied with that.




4 thoughts on “What Do Readers Really Want?

  1. I’ll have to check out Melissa’s blog, but I would say that I want different things on different days. I admit though I’m always up for “good old-fashioned love stories with tight plots and mysterious twists and turns that takes place in a world that obeys the rules of physics.” Except exchange the “mysterious twists” for deep emotion.

    However it would be a boring world if that’s all I got.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s