Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!
Today’s topic is: How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
This struck me as an interesting topic. Not too dissimilar from the idea of show don’t tell. I’ve read a few books in my time where too much of the story was spoonfed to the reader. You almost found that the ending screamed at you in big, gaudy Vegas-style neon lights from far too early in the narrative. It’s really jarring for me. It immediately wrenched me out of the book, breaking my immersion.
It’s possible to go too far the other way. Books that have no intention of looking after the reader, but intend to get the heart rate up, elevate the stress levels, and throw more twists and turns at the reader than even the gnarliest of rollercoasters. So breathless are these books, that you just cannot catch a break. It’s one heavy blow after another with no let-up, that can sometimes make them very difficult to get into. While a book looking after me too much can remove me from the immersion of a book, asking too much of me can actually stop me from ever achieving that immersion.
So what do I actually do to balance these issues and prevent them from happening in my books? Quite honestly, I don’t. I spent too long when trying to write Our Boy Jack worrying about what readers would think. Frankly, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. S now I just write the story as I want to tell it. I suppose my writing is very much rooted in what I enjoy reading. It might not be to everyone’s tastes but I’d like to think it will appeal to some. I want my writing to be comfortable enough that the reader feels eased in, while challenging them enough to follow a bit of a ride through the narrative to its inevitable conclusion.