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Looking for Writers…

June 1, 2013
writer 1

I am not a rule follower, I am a rule breaker unless that rule makes my life better. There is one rule on this list that I do intend on following. Want to take a guess?

Hey Y’all,

I want to thank everyone who commented on the last post. Very informative to see how different we are all. Isn’t that the point of being an individual? Most things that are written do not hold my interest. But the few things that hold my interest, I devour. I cannot get enough of some books, to the point that they consume me and occupy my every thought. Can there be any higher praise for the author? All images are from Yahoo.

Watching my friend, the real Capt. Bill Rimes pour over the Di Vinci Code was probably the highest praise that Dan Brown could ever dream of. To be honest, I do not know if Billy would have been so enthralled with the book had we not been held captive living on a military base in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert. To be honest, I would not care. I would accept the praise in any form.

 

writer 2

I need those sideburns.

 

As a writer, I work with a central reader in mind. This ideal reader is my toughest critic. This reader knows more than I do about everything. This reader has read everything and demands to be transported to another world. They do not want entertainment; they can find that from the History Channel or a football game. They want to be inspired, they want to dive in-between the lines and see the meaning behind the meaning. Every word has a twin purpose, the overt and the covert.

This reader wants twin stories. The one that most people get and the secret deep meaning that the most discriminating reader will find. This reader doesn’t want a love story, but there should be a hint of potential romance. This reader doesn’t want a profanity laced drama, but intelligent writing that creatively expresses emotion without using any of the vile language. This reader doesn’t want a military thriller, a political thriller, a mystery, a crime novel, a historical thriller, an aviation themed novel, or a spy novel. They want it all rolled into a single work spiced with a hint of a religious meaning. This novel should never feel preachy, just illustrate some basic concepts of a life well lived.

 

writer 5

Good guys are cool.

 

The protagonist should not be a person who is simple and has only one issue to overcome. No, that is the easy way out, this character should be someone whose life has been completely tossed upside down and has no chance of regaining their past life. They should be someone who has lost everything completely and their only chance for success is to embrace a new life. They are not totally good, and they will never be. Instead they are totally human, totally flawed but always working to better themselves.

 

writer 4

Bad guys break the rules and taunt others. I might be a bad guy.

 

The antagonist should be a person who is evil. They should be a person who in many ways is the equal of the protagonist but they have all of the advantages. However, they should not be totally evil, they should have redeeming qualities and have moments of goodness. In a word, they also should be human.

My ideal reader expects me to make bold statements within my work. They expect that I will set the stage for a great adventure and then they expect me to over deliver. They demand a yarn that tickles their imagination, a crisis that touches their most basic fears, and a solution that equally feels wrong and right. This ending is consistent within the terms of the rules set forth in the beginning of the novel but those rules let the reader wanting more vengeance while understanding that justice will always prevail.

Finally this reader expects the escape to be memorable, death defying but ultimately the protagonist should fail. Have you ever seen that before? I have not, therefore it should happen. The good guys get caught in their escape attempt because the other side has competent people as well. The ending should be different, full of twists, turns, ups and downs.

 

writer 6

I want to be kept guessing and never see what is about to happen.

 

You may have guessed the identity of ideal reader. Yes, it is me. I will demand more of myself than I would of any other author. I am not out to write a bestseller. I am not out to write a book that appeals to the masses. I am out to write the best book that I could ever read. Note that I did not say perfect, I said best because perfection is an illusion. It does not exist in reality and if my book is based on reality with human characters then perfection is not attainable. I don’t want a perfect book; I want the best book I have ever read.

 

writer 3

Big book, little guy.

 

That is my goal as a writer. I aim to please me. If the rest of the world gets it, then I will be happy. But if no one except me gets it, my goal will have been achieved. But I believe in me and I believe that if I am impressed, then so will the publishing world. And monetary success will follow.

What is your goal as a writer? Who is your idea reader? How do you keep them in your focus as you write?

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12 Comments
  1. Very interesting Rob. I think you hit on quite a few things we all want as reader (and writers!). I love when something I write sparks a thought or emotion in someone or helps them recall an experience or maybe even have a new insight– learn something. As you can see, I do better with nonfiction. But I do love a good novel!

    • Thanks Julie,

      I have been reading your works for almost two years now. One year of enjoying your submissions on the Writer’s Digest weekly prompts and another on your blog. I think you are a wonderful writer and your ability to create good fiction is amazing. Please don’t sell yourself short. You are an amazing writer in every way imaginable.

  2. Awesome. I have always said, “You can’t please everyone.” But I’m now updating.
    “You can’t please everyone, except yourself!”

    • Is that one kind of like “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

      By the way, I am not saying that I am pleased by my work, I am saying that is my goal.

  3. Now that you’ve completely scared the crap out of me I’ll return to my cave and keep writing while trying to not think of this totally over the top and epic standard you have set. 😀
    Oh. Fyi….Frodo fails in the end of Lord of the Rings.

    • Don’t be scared. Make yourself happy. Yes, my standards I set for myself are very high but that is intentional because if they are almost unachievable and I fair to reach them it is okay because I know I got close.

      For me to know that I would have had to do more than watch the movies once. But that is good to know because he did okay for himself because he broke the rules.

      • I think having high standards is great! For me being a bit of a punster and a lover of all things cheesy, I’m often worried that some of my smarter friends might find my writing a bit on the drivel side. But, then I tell myself to just keep writing and not worry about it.
        You can pick up Frodo’s failure in the movie as well. It is pretty subtle and most people don’t catch it unless someone points it out to them – I didn’t anyway. Frodo is unable to cast the ring into Mount Doom. He keeps it. At the end, when it comes down to it, Frodo fails. It is evil begetting evil which ultimately destroys the ring. Also, and this they don’t bring out in the movie, Aragorn deals with the pressure of bearing the burden of the quest after Gandalf falls in Moria. Aragorn is very unhappy with his burden and then struggles with things going all wrong while he is in charge. So….all that to say, there are books out there where the hero, and heroes fail. Some are just very subtle. 🙂
        Thanks as always for thought provoking posts! Keep up the good work!

      • Abby,

        Thanks for being so loyal and offering your help. You are a wonderful writer and even better friend.

        Now I know why I didn’t get Frodo’s failure. It was subtle. I don’t do subtle very well, I need it to smack me in the face. My team’s failure will be epic, not because they made a mistake. Because they are being chased by someone who is their equal.

        One of the lines is from John to Gabriel, who knows both men well. “Gabriel we are caught. I told you that this guy is like you chasing you. And like you, he would never stop. Our goose is cooked, you need to make the call.”

        The guy chasing the team is a former SAS operator who is now the Chief of Police of the Northern Territory in Australia. He has no home life to return too and like Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick he would rather die than fail. He will disobey orders from the Prime Minister, ignore orders from the military, trick his best friend into giving him men and material to continue the chase into a cyclone and ultimately leap from a helicopter into a raging ocean to board the escaping ship. In the end, he will do the impossible, capture the world’s most secretive para-military team and then he will let them go only because he recognizes the newest member of the team, Eddie. Armed with that knowledge, he will continue to pursue them in the second book.

  4. Rob,

    My perfect reader is someone who gives me ideas, someone who balances humor and thrills, someone who forges interesting characters, someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously…
    someone who has a pilot’s license…
    Know anybody who fits that criteria?

  5. Erica permalink

    I like the sound of Joseph’s perfect reader. What a lot of reading that reader will be reading (yes, I’ve been reading Dr. Suess).

    Thanks for your good wishes about my year of rejection. It’s going swimmingly. Collecting rejections is just so darn slow.

    Now back to the point. I find some of my stories I write and don’t particularly want to read again, and others I can read again and again, sometimes thinking, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen next.’ I’m either more mentally unstable than I thought, or I like what I’m writing for my readership, which is, er . . . me.

    What was the question again?

    How are the revisions going, by the way?

  6. Erica,

    Thanks again for coming out to play. All the cool kids miss seeing you at the bus stop. By the way, I agree and I think Swifty is the perfect ideal reader.

    I have enjoyed both of the experiences you described. Hating what I wrote and later loving what I wrote and totally caught up in the words. It is a surreal experience reading your own words and being in the moment like you are seeing it for the first time.

    The revisions are going great. My brother has the first 25K and is almost finished turning it into something good. I am almost finished with the middle 25K. The last 50K will go as it has been written and hopefully will move along quicker. Thanks for asking. Keep smiling out there in Guam!

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