Hey-O! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by. All month long, we’re talking about the things that readers are looking for in the books they read—because if writers don’t know what readers are looking for, it makes it a whole lot harder to know which stories to write.
Now, before you go getting any ideas based off that last paragraph, I’ll be the first to tell you that writing to market is not that great an idea. The things you write will likely not end up being your favorite works, and they’ll be for nothing more than an attempt at making money. And, as we all know, writing is about story. It’s about sharing a part of ourselves with the world. We’ll deal with the money part later, because, yes, making money is great too.
#3: Plots That Make You Think
It’s not as easy as it sounds! I would know, because this is one of the things I pride myself in doing, when I write my novels. I want my readers to think, I want them to learn something, I want them to come on this adventure of discovery with me.
And that, wouldn’t you know it, is something a lot of readers are actually looking for.
I know, I know, some readers aren’t. Some readers want drivel, the same things they’ve read over and over again, because then they don’t have to think and it’s just mindless reading. But the real readers, the avid readers, are looking for something that will get their blood pumping and their brain going a mile a minute.
So let’s do that. Let’s have them join us for a wild ride.
But, how do you write something that makes your readers think?
Like I said, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
It all starts will determining your story. You need to know what you hope to gain through this story, and what you hope your reader will gain through this story. It can’t just be a story that’s there for the sake of being a story—it has to be something with purpose.
Now that you have your purpose, work it into your fiction. Make your protagonist lacking in that purpose, and go on an adventure to discover it. Make everyone in your world lacking in that purpose, so it’s even more critical when they reach it. But most importantly, it’s important that you find it yourself. It’s important that your readers feel you learning, thinking, deciphering, right alongside them.
See what I mean about it not being easy?
Create a goal that requires thought, or create a world that requires attention to make sense of it. Consider the Druid Novels (because I know you’ve read all of them ;-)). The world of the druids is in many ways opposite to that of humanity, and there’s a very distinct reasoning for it. That reasoning is not always explicitly stated. Those differences are always sharp and distinct, but I work very hard at making sure my readers have to learn something about humanity, about themselves, in order to understand the druids.
Because, after all, we could all stand to think a little more.