The worst thing in the world for a writer who is trying to make a statement with his work is to be totally disconnected from his audience FROM WITHIN THE BOOK. You’re very much connected on the outside, but from the inside of your book, do you tend to cause what I call “the reader drift”?
You know how people love to say certain politicians or celebrities are out of touch with the common core of society? Well that’s the disconnect I’m talking about but pertaining to the literary world.
It is very possible to lose someone halfway through your book. It’s even more possible for them to feel like you are “talking at” them instead of providing a story or knowledge. We may as well add the fact that the reader may not believe you are making your point of view clear, thus, making the read absolutely useless. Below are three ways that I feel you can go from disconnect to connection with your readers with your next book.
#1 Don’t Be Too Wordy
Words. They can work against you or work in your favor, and when you think about it. There are many books, even 500 page books that are simply amazing! Trust me, I know, because I’ve read a couple. I wouldn’t call those lengthy books “wordy” because of the page/word count either. When I think “wordy”, I think of something being expressed in far too many words when it could have been cut short and described in a better way to make that connection. Doing this could determine if a reader becomes bored or really intrigued by your book.
Every situation and circumstance is different for every scene of a written work, therefore, be certain that your usage of words and extra words count where they should.
#2 Don’t Create a Language Barrier
Do you like having to work during a relaxing read? This is a question you should ask yourself before placing all of your master’s degree and doctorate language into a child’s superhero series. No one is moved to relaxation or excitement when they are forced to ask what the heck does this word actually mean while reading a book…ANY BOOK!
Erykah Badu once sang in one of her songs, “What good do your words do if they can’t understand you?” She’s absolutely right. If you want your book to be read by the masses, then write for the masses. Everyone doesn’t make a point to learn word synonyms all day long to prove intelligence. Understand that although you are a, let’s say, genius, you aren’t writing for YOURSELF. You are writing for others. If not, expect your book to sit on the shelf day after day while they pick up the book that’s labeled FOR DUMMIES and make it a best seller.
#3 Don’t Straddle the Fence
Lastly, have an opinion or state brutal facts. Face it, no one really and truly understands someone who never has a stance on anything because there is nothing to understand. Straddling the fence on anything, or “people pleasing”, even when writing a book, just doesn’t cut it for writers. If you are writing about a brutal alien from the planet Venus, then make that sucker brutal! Don’t allow your own personal feelings to pull you away from brutality because that’s not how YOU are. Clue: You aren’t writing your autobiography. It’s about the alien.
Your character or whatever you are writing about is depending on your honesty, whether brutal or not, in order to SURVIVE. If you can’t go all in with your topic/character, start digging its grave now. Sometimes, it hurt me to my CORE to write scenes from The SECRET Novel Collection, however, I did it, and the people who I wanted to speak to through my novels have appreciated and followed me ever since.
Never straddle the fence.
That’s my take on how to never gain a huge disconnect between your books and your readers! This isn’t to say that you will be the biggest and best seller out, but for your, and I stress YOUR, readers, they will appreciate your efforts and connect.