Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are You Alienating Your Reader?

Today I started thinking about how I connect with certain characters and how writers can sometimes change that connection and push away the readers. I tend to think it happens more in series rather than stand alone novels. And I've seen it happen multiple times with television.

I will wander into the world of television for a bit and then come back with writing. I used to be a big Scandal fan. Loved the show, loved the writing, loved the characters (all of the characters, even the bad guys), but then Huck turns on Quinn. I know the plot line was leading there. I know that the writers had their reasons. But I was done.

A similar thing happened with Downton Abby. I get that the actors didn't renew their contracts, but I hated the way that Matthew died. And how every problem is conveniently solved within three episodes at max. So the loyalty that I felt toward the show disappeared.

And there have been a large number of trilogies where I have felt very betrayed by the author. As writers, you do get to decide what happens to your characters. And I don't always expect happy endings, but ultimately I need the character to continue to grow stronger and to do more.

How do you stop yourself from alienating your reader?

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