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Friday, January 20, 2012

My Ideal Reader: I'm Your Biggest Fan!



I can only imagine that my Ideal Reader is about as easy to find as my Fantasy Soulmate. Sure he's tall, handsome in that rakish I'm-sexy-but-don't-care kind of way, has a soothing yet fun accent, is mixmaster of the appletini, keeps me in paradise with an endless supply of backrubs, and his last name translates as "the hotness." Okay, I'm sure he doesn't exist. But is my Ideal Reader as imaginary?

I'd like to think that my Ideal Reader would like the same things that I like. I mean, aside from long walks on the beach, which I do actually require from time to time for the upkeep of my mental health (how do you landlocked people live?). Things like:

1. My love of low budget over-the-top-gore-filled horror films is just one of the excuses for why my description of blood and guts makes it into my writing (I also blame my experience reading horror author Brian Lumley). This is why I'm sure that either: a) I need to tone it down several notches or b) my Ideal Reader will enjoy reading about the severed heads as much as I like writing them.

2. As I grew up in an era of cheesy sitcoms, I often reach for the obscure pop-culture reference. Whenever I do try to inject humor into my writing it's inevitably peppered with bad 80's and 90's movie references, or the occasional computer-geek nod to the nerds. So I either need to: a) Ctl+Alt+Del it for those of us not raised by the flickering TV screen of 1990's Nickelodeon or b) my Ideal Reader will laugh uproariously whenever an accidental Star Trek: TNG reference makes its way into the seedy underbelly of my short story.

3. Snark and sarcasm have been traits of my characters that I've tried time and time again to step away from. I've tried the innocent naïve heroine and the narrow-minded goody-two shoes hero that suddenly sees the error of his ways, but at some point they start verbally sparring with the one-two punches of dry wit and the left hooks of snarkiness. So I either need to: a) tone down the witty repartee of snark or b) my Ideal Reader will love the sarcastic asides, whether from the hero, sidekick, or Joe Shmoe-who-got-killed-in-the-third-chapter.

In all honesty, my Ideal Reader would be someone who loves the type of stories I hope to be able to pull off one day with super-ultra-mega awesomeness: dark stories that challenge the status-quo of good vs. evil into more of a grayish smear of bad/good/everything in between.

My Ideal Reader would love characters that question their mental state, their society, their people, and everything they know to be as right and proper. Whether aliens, fantasy races, or current societies, I love writing about how societies clash, how customs differ, how true understanding of someone or something new comes at the price of preconceived notions and not a little bit of embarrassment. (I blame my serious flirtation with an Anthropology degree in college).  

My Ideal Reader would also enjoy characters that make ultimate sacrifices for the ones they love, whether at the cost of their livelihood, their morals, or even their life, characters that are forced to deal with their worst fears, their unspeakable desires, and the yawning abyss of psychosis.

4. Or option c) Get better at actually pulling off all of these elements. 

So, my Fantasy Soulmate where are you? And where is my Ideal Reader? Is there some way to combine the two...?

Today's topic was brought to you by the letters M, G, and R for Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.
Check out the MGR Tour for blogs from writers all across the globe, from noobs to published authors. Up next is: Tiberius Clausewitz Drusus Nero Germanicus  

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3 Comments:

At January 22, 2012 at 1:29 AM , Anonymous Alex F. Fayle said...

You couldn't get any clearer about your ideal reader. Well done! I now know who to recommend your books to...

 
At February 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM , OpenID danthonybrown said...

I'm sure your ideal reader is out there somewhere, several of them in fact. By the way, you are not the "only writer who doesn't have a cat". Sorry...

 
At February 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM , Blogger B.C. Matthews said...

@ danthonybrown

I thought I was the only one without a cat! Actually, I'd probably have a cat if not for the fact that 90% of the people I know are seriously allergic. And I'd worry the little feline would find a way to eat my other pets, because they're craft buggers.

 

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