Who cares?

Who Cares by Ailyn Koay - www.wordtrance.com

It does not mat­ter what you are writ­ing, if you lost your audi­ence, then they might not fin­ish read­ing or return for more. May it be a jour­nal arti­cle, a bor­ing report or an inter­est­ing story that you are look­ing to share, with­out read­ers or audi­ence, it will all be for naught. Bor­row­ing a les­son from Holly Lisle’s course, she has summed it up in two words: who cares?

I have to suf­fer through pages and pages of jour­nal arti­cles about can­cer ther­apy because I needed to pass my exams, I stayed up late read­ing books from new authors because I cared (for a while) about their heroes and hero­ines; if I do not con­cern myself with char­ac­ters and con­clu­sions, then what is the point of me reading?

As a writer, I under­stand the need to share every detail about you character’s likes and dis­likes as well as activ­i­ties under­taken. But, to do that will take up a lot of words and pages that could poten­tially cost a lot more than just money. There are not many read­ers who would read Dick­ens will­ingly today; I can say that because I only got through three pages of Great Expec­ta­tions and my brain had shut down. Granted, I might not be suited for clas­sics, but I read 1984 just fine.

On the other end of the scale, I some­times won­der if the writer would ever reveal some details about their char­ac­ter, but usu­ally I am left won­der­ing. Take Isabella Swan from Stephanie Meyer’s Twi­light. I won­der about her dreams and her per­son­al­ity while peo­ple con­tin­ued to shower her with love and atten­tion. In the end, I had to ask: what is so spe­cial about her that makes guys love her, apart from being stub­born and dreamy?

A good writer knows what the audi­ence wants; a bet­ter writer knows how to make the reader want. A good exam­ple from me would be The Medea Com­plex by Rachel Roberts, I was com­pelled to pity both Anne and Edgar, the main char­ac­ters of her story. From the begin­ning, Anne was admit­ted to a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in 1885, and since I knew what that means, my heart went out to her. To make mat­ters com­pli­cated, her hus­band Edgar is in emo­tional tur­moil as his insane wife had killed his new­born son. Did I just make you care?

After cap­tur­ing your reader’s atten­tion, keep­ing it would be your new chal­lenge. You can make peo­ple care about a sit­u­a­tion or a prob­lem, engag­ing your audi­ence would allow them to give their full atten­tion to your work. It may not be funny or inter­est­ing, not every part of the book can be, but peo­ple will con­tinue to read because they care about an aspect in your book.

So, when you reread your draft, you should pre­tend to be your audi­ence, and won­der if cer­tain parts could be omit­ted with­out alter­ing the whole pic­ture. After scratch­ing off unessen­tial details, you could always ask your­self what you would like to know more about: the char­ac­ter, the set­ting, the plot etc. Using a com­puter, you can have as many drafts as you want, who cares?


Ailyn Koay


Who Cares is writ­ten by: Ailyn Koay. You can find more from Ailyn at her blog, Penny For My Thoughts.


Digiprove sealCopy­right secured by Digiprove © 2013 Michael DeCesaris
Acknowl­edge­ments: This arti­cle is a guest post writ­ten more…

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