Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Leftover Chex Mix

A couple days ago I had a gallon ziplock bag almost full of the wonderful stuff. Today, there remains only about 1/5 of the mixture. What's leftover is the wheat chex (not my favorite) some of the pretzels (okay, but not what I'm in the mood for) and the pumpernickle bread pieces (don't like). I look over at the bag occasionally, don't see anything I want so look for something else. (Which reminds me, there's a hershey bar in the other room just waiting for me.)

Sometimes our writing is like leftover chex mix to the reader. Readers are a finicky bunch. (Just like me and my chex mix.) They will find pieces they don't like, stories that are okay but just not what they want now and sometimes our writing will be the best option at the time.

When writing, we have to think about the reader. We need to especially consider the reader when crafting our opening. If the reader doesn't like the opening, then they'll find another book to snack on.

We also have to consider our readers when working with dialogue. Are our tags clear? Can the reader tell who is speaking without having to go back and count lines? (I hate having to do that!!!) Does the dialogue read smoothly and naturally? So much to consider!

Our readers need a reason to continue reading too. Just like one handful of chex mix leads to another, we have to tempt them with the seasonings of great writing.

Now, I'm not saying we should write for the reader only and not write the story we want to tell. I'm just saying that we need to make our writing as pleasureable as possible or the reader will find something else sweeter.

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