What Readers Like
Readers are incredibly attracted to strong characters. They are someone to look up to, who possesses wit and elegance, charm and passion. There are characters readers simply fall in love with. Everybody enjoys qualities such as nobility and eloquence, courage and originality. Such characters move us deeply and remain in our hearts.
When we read literature, we want to escape in alternative worlds. We want to read about hobbits and elves, and their fairy-tale premises and lifestyle. We want rings with powers and swords with names. We want something entirely different from what we have in our lives, to be taken to a parallel world of glorious heros and terrible villains. This is why high-fantasy books are ever so popular – they lead the character to a true adventure.
- Happy Endings
Readers love it when the good guys win at the end. In all the classics, eventually good triumphs over evil and the reader receives a cathartic experience. What is most important for the reader’s happiness is the transformation of the character. In the end, characters are always a bit better than they’ve been at the beginning. They learn their lessons well.
- Intellectual and Philosophical Challenges
Readers love books with smart and elegant style. They love authors who teach them a lesson. They want a moral to a story; they want to develop intellectually through reading. This is why readers are rather picky when it comes to style. They admire authors for their command over language, for being able to do something better than them. Readers love someone to challenge their thoughts.
- Laughs and Wit
A writer who can make you laugh sincerely wins your heart immediately. People love laughter and comedies have been popular with humanity since their existence. Laughter makes people relax, it heals them from the plague of everyday stress and simply makes our lives better.
Some works of art use repetition. People have always liked things they can predict. That’s a good reason for reading romantic novels – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. But the beauty and love of every romantic tale is different.
If you are an author who can surprise their audience, then you will have a lot of readers. People love surprises. Most often they react with hearty laughter and with awe. Something unexpected grabs the attention of the reader immediately.
My girlfriend says that she doesn’t open a book until she is certain there is at least one dead body. One of the most captivating books I have read started with the suicide of the main character’s mother, and it got worse after that. Facts are that people love tension, suspense, crime, drama and being kept a prisoner of negative events, the ordeals of the character, which actually develops them into admirable human beings.
Yes, we humans generally look for the same things in writing. But, also think about what readers don’t like. That will help you avoid it in your works.