March 28, 2017

What Does Your Reader Take Away?

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine 

As an author, when you are writing a fiction book, do you think about what you want your reader to take away from reading your book?

I know authors want the reader to enjoy their books and buy other books they write.

But dig deeper. Don’t you want them to step into the world you’ve created, get to know your characters, one by one. Do you want them to identify with the main character? In the story, the character will be making many decisions that affect their life and the lives of others. Don’t you want your reader immersed in the story? Readers become involved and think to themselves, “Oh that’s good, at least they made the right decision in this case.” Maybe they will relate so much they will talk to your character, saying, “Why did you make that choice. Now you have messed up that relationship. I wouldn’t have done that.”

You see, when your reader goes deeper into your book, and gets to know your characters, and finds themselves relating to them, they are then invested in the book; and in you as an author.

Isaac Asimov, an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. Well known for his works of science fiction and popular science wrote about 500 books in his lifetime.  Many of his books were made into movies and TV shows like: I, Robot in 2004 with Will Smith; Nightfall in 2000 with David Carradine; Bicentennial Man in 1999 with Sam Neill and Robin Williams; and Probe, a TV series in 1988 with Parker Stevenson. Asimov said, It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.”

We never know when something we write is going to plant a seed or help someone with a decision they’re struggling with.


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