Insecure Writers Want to Know
Well, hopefully my original idea or story IS what readers want. A good adventure. An insightful read. Characters to care about. That’s what I enjoy reading, anyway.
While I understand that writers need to consider the market to see where their stories or books fit into the conversation on a topic or a popular genre, writers still need to write what’s in their hearts and what’s on their minds. Yes, we consider the readers of our stories in the sense that we give them what they are looking for. On a topic. In a specific genre. We give readers what we promise to in our writing. And our writing, our series need to be original. A writer can still be original while following the conventions of a genre or non-fiction piece.
In my college memoir, I use fiction methods to create a true story. A beginning, middle, and end, with tension and conflict. [I hope!] I have the inciting incident; the reason Victoria chooses to attend college at this time in her life. There is a midpoint to the journey story. An “all is lost” scene and a climax.
I’m in the process of yet another read-through, making sure the characters are real to the reader. That the emotion is on the page. This college memoir is a narrative with dialogue, a story told chronologically. And—gosh—I hope it will be original and what readers are looking for to give them inspiration and courage.
*Please feel free to offer any insight you may have about the methods I’m using to tell my college story. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. *
So, I’m lucky. My July writing event on conflict in story went well, too. My next in-person Workshop Event will be at the Maple Shade Library in New Jersey. If you are in the area, please stop by. I’d love to meet you. This is a free writing event for participants.
Here are the details:
Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 2 p.m.
“The Arc of the Character”
Maple Shade Library
200 Stiles Ave.
Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052
(856) 779-9767, ext. 311
Please register for the event at the Burlington County Library System.
Now I’m off to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. It’s wonderful having a topic to share our thoughts on each month. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors on this writing and publishing journey.
Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web. Please come again!
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’d like to thank our co-hosts for August: Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery! Please visit them if you can.
Our group posts on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
26 thoughts on “<strong>When you start a story, do you try to be original or just give readers what they want?</strong><strong></strong>”
Glad your event went well.
We all hope we are giving the readers what they want – a goo story.
Absolutely, Alex! A good story is what it is all about. Thanks for your note on Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir!
Hope your next event goes as well as the one you just did. Yes, we hope our original ideas are what they want.
Thank you, Natalie. I hope these events help local writers. I know I wished they had free events like this when I was starting out as a writer.
It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your week!
As I read around, I’m finding pretty consistently, people write what they love…which to me is THE way to success. Best wishes for your August class.
Thank you, Liza. Absolutely, we should write what’s in our hearts. Always.
Thank you so much for your good wishes. I truly appreciate them. And thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful week!
Me too on the consensus is that writers write first to their own self then, some to trends and readers in general.
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Teresa! I’m so glad you stopped by.
I think all writers begin by writing “to their own self.” Thanks for your comment. Have a beautiful day!
I’m not much of a memoir reader but your approach to it sounds solid. It should be as engaging as a fictional work.
The problem with giving readers what they want, if that refers to sticking to a formula that worked before, is if the writer gets bored then their heart isn’t in it and that lack of investment transfers to the reader. We do have to write what’s in our heart and hope that readers get excited about it too.
Thank you, Nick. I agree. Memoir needs to be as “engaging as a fictional work.”
And yes. Formulaic writing never works. It becomes trite and predictable. I’m not talking about tropes in certain genres. Even though traditional romances work because we know the lovers will get together at the end, it is HOW they get together at the end, how they reconcile their inner and outer problems to make it work. That is what we are reading for.
Thanks for visiting Adventures in Writing.
This was a very well considered answer. Thanks for writing it.
My pleasure, Lee. And thank you so much for visiting Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful day!
Yes! We always hope that what we love to write dovetails with what the readers want. I grew up in New Jersey for a bit- small world moment here! Thanks for joining the blog hop.
Where did you live in New Jersey? Jersey’s a great place to grow up. We lived in South Jersey, Stratford.
Thank you for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again! Have a beautiful weekend!
I definitely write the kinds of stories I like to read. So I guess in that circular respect, I do write for the reader. I don’t really “try” to be original, but I always hope I have an interesting twist. Writers who overthink the pursuit of originality sometimes end up with weirdness that just doesn’t work.
You are so right, Lee. Trying to be TOO original ends up being TOO weird. If we write what we read, yes, I guess we are writing for the reader of our genre. Great point!
It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your weekend!
I completely agree with you on how we can fulfill our readers expectations but do it in our own unique way. Good luck with your library event!
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Charity! I’m so glad you stopped by.
Fulfilling our readers expectations is all we can hope to do. Thanks for your good wishes. Enjoy your weekend!
I’m glad your event went well — good luck with the next one!
Sounds like you’re on the right track with your memoir 🙂
Thank you for your good wishes, Ronel. They are truly appreciated. And thanks for your kind words about my college memoir. Gosh! I hope you are right. Have a great day!
I agree with you. I love reading about “a good adventure…an insightful read…characters to care about,” too. Your memoir writing sounds fascinating.
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Andrea! I’m so glad you stopped by.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m hoping my college memoir is “fascinating.” Have a beautiful weekend!
That’s awesome you’re teaching workshops and everything!
And writing a memoir? That’s cool. I think I’d struggle with that solely because I’ve got a terrible memory, so can’t remember half the stuff that’s happened.
I hope your writing goes well!
(And sorry I’m so late returning the visit. Your comment got lost in my spam folder. >_<)
So sorry my comment got lost into your spam, Loni. I’m sure I filled out all the information required.
Memoir is difficult to write for sure. The first thing to do is create a point you wish to make. Then you only include scenes from your life that prove that point. Memoir is a slice of life. And you get to choose what you wish to include in the memoir story.
Thank you for your kind words, Loni. I truly appreciate them.
I agree with writers needing to write what’s in their hearts. If the writer isn’t passionate about their story, the reader won’t be either. Hope your writing event goes well!
Absolutely right, Lori! Writers need to be passionate about their writing. Otherwise, it won’t transfer to the page.
Thank you for your good wishes for my writing event. Here’s hoping I can get a few more participants. Thanks for visiting Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful day!