Our Great Expectations

What is a book to a reader? Well, really a book symbolizes many different things to many different readers. It always fascinates me how we as humans can have so many different tastes and preferences. I happen to like fiction, specifically romances and mysteries, both with a good dose of suspense. But I know that a lot of people out there may prefer sci-fi or fantasy or maybe nonfiction. Truly the combinations can go on and on. And these days, I find many authors writing at the fringes and blending genres.

Still, I believe that many readers have common goals when they sit down to read a book. When a reader sits down to read a book they chose to read (and sometimes even when they haven’t chose it), many times they expect entertainment, enjoyment and perhaps a bit of an escape for a couple hours. Sometimes the books we read live up to these expectations and sometimes they don’t. For those that do, they tend to linger in our minds for a while, having a most profound effect on our thought processes. It really is an incredible feeling. For those books that don’t live up to our expectations, many will soon be forgotten.

As a reader transitioned to author, I have to admit my expectations have changed slightly. I still enjoy a good book and if anything, I more actively search for those types of books that will linger in my mind, yet I’ve definitely acquired a bit more of a discriminating eye. Not only do I catch the occasional grammatical error, but I pick up on whether the author is using deep pov or whether they tend to tell more than show. It can be awfully distracting if the book has a lot of these issues. And yet, as a newer author myself, I can also understand how difficult it is to produce quality work.

So what about you readers and/or writers out there, what great expectations do you have when it comes to books?

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Categories: Uncategorized | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Our Great Expectations

  1. Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner)

    Great post! I’m still as a writer/reader looking for the book that makes me sad when it ends. The one I want to never end. The one I lament when I close and almost start reading all over just to revisit the characters and journey one more time 🙂 I only hope my readers will feel that way about at least one of my books someday.

  2. caseamajor

    If I pay for a book, I expect competent writing, logical characterization, motivation and plot elements and a strong ending. I’m not hard to please. LOL

    Nice post, Toni.

  3. ebondreams

    As a long time reader/writer what my expectations are as a reader is characters that pull you into the story and make you feel like you are them and that everything they are going through I go through.

    If that makes sense.

    I read romance and I love escaping into a story and feeling that great love of a life time.

    Nichelle

  4. I just like to be swept away with the story – a typo may make me smile but I keep on going. I don’t care whether they are telling me or showing me – if the author has me sucked into the story – i go with it.

    I recognize “good” writing and “poor” writing – but to me it’s the story. Alot of people will disagree saying “poor” story isn’t worth reading – but I’ve sat through TV shows with huge holes in the plot and joke set ups visible a mile away – and still enjoyed the show.

    And I’ve walked out of Academy award winning movies because I was bored out of my skull.

    No pleasing everybody.

  5. Awesome post! Often times I remember that I am reading when I am reading a book. There are few books I come across that are page turners where I forget I am reading and so I always love it when I come across one.
    Expectations? Clean. Typos free writing. Something that will hook me in one way or another. Hopefully 🙂

  6. Escape, fun, and connectable characters. I can forgive the occasional typo (even the big publishers slip up at times) but it has to make sense and be engaging in some way. That doesn’t mean it has to have a HEA or “solved” perfect end but, please, don’t bore me and remember all your characters’ names LOL.
    Great post.

  7. I want to read a book that’s written well. I want to know that the author has really made sure this book is the best- being consistant with plot and characters, and a good flowing story. I don’t want a book that was put out sloppy just to be there, ya know?

  8. *sigh* Since I have ventured into the world of writing, I find it increasingly harder for me to lose myself in a book. I do what you do and check for DPOV, passive, active, how the author started the chapter 1. How the author ended chapters, etc, etc.
    By doing this, I don’t allow myself to get fully sucked into the story.

  9. Lovely post. As a reader I’ve always wanted an emotional connection to a book. I want to laugh out loud or tear up or get angry. As as writer, I try to give that to my reader.

  10. Melissa Limoges

    As a reader, I’m looking for a book that will make me forget the crap, long day I’ve had at work, or take my mind off of the multitude of things that plague me. I believe that main reason I got into the Romance genre was because most times the stories are easily read in a night. It’s sort of like watching a long movie for me and since there really isn’t much I like on television, it works out for me. Romance typically guarantees the happily ever after that we don’t always see in real life. I need that at the end of the day. If anything, it keeps my cynical, irritated mind from going postal. 🙂

    My friends think I am strange when I read a fantastic book, then rave about it for weeks. Reading a super, kickass book is definitely one of my top twelve feelings in the world.

    • Melissa, you completely described how I feel when I’m looking for a book. It’s sad but true that romance really does give us a slice of HEA that’s hard to get in real life.

  11. Maggie O'Malley

    As a reader, I try not to say that I’d have done so-and-so different. It’s the writer’s story, not mine, and if she/he wants to write a scene that I don’t like, well…that’s okay. It’s there story. For all I know, they have some reason that led them down that path.

  12. Great post. For me, I want to connect with the characters. I want to care about them, cheer for them and cry with them when needed. BTW, sex is the last thing I’m looking for. Its nice but a good emotional, character driven story is for me.

    Marika

  13. For me, I want to connect with the characters. I want emotions that I can releate to; laugh with them; cry with them and get angry with them. BTW, sex is nice but not necessary sometimes.

    Marika

  14. Thanks for all your comments!

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