How to connect with a reader?

Help the reader find what they are looking for?

vintage-1836813_1280It is impossible to write a story that will meet the expectations of all readers of all ages. Expectations vary as much as genre.Β  Mystery readers look for puzzles and justice. Other readers look to fall in love again, spy on foreign powers, fly through space or run with the elves.

To play fair, make sure the essence of your book is on the cover–in the artwork and the blurb. Give the reader a chance to dive in or move on early.

As a reader, I need it to be organic

It may start with a recommendation, the book blurb or the cover, butΒ  when I read the first sentence I need to feel something–anything. Many times it’s curiosity that prompts me to read the first paragraph, and if I make it to chapter three I either feel a connection or I put the book down.

Making Connections

If the main character shares some of the same organic/visceral reactions or emotions with the reader, they’ll connect.

Our job as writers is to convey the emotions the human race have in common. It can be as simple as the frustration of waiting in line, or as visceral as a missing child. It’s these raw emotions that draw a reader in.

For example, everyone has been driven to frustration once in their life. Placing a character in a situation that makes them frustrated is relatable. What the reader doesn’t know is what your character is going to do about it. The reader may be surprised, disappointed or embarrassed. It doesn’t matter. What does is the fact they reacted.

If a story makes me laugh, I enjoy the characters, or like in the Harry Potter vintage-1849411_1280seriesβ€”I love the world, I know I’ll be back for more. It might be the next chapter or the next book. Some books are a lovely place to vacation.

What do you look for in a book? Wouldn’t your reader be looking for the same thing?

Gleaned from:

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25 responses to “How to connect with a reader?

  1. What I love most are characters with good hearts who face huge obstacles. I also love a good scattering of riveting emotional scenes where we know he or she is in trouble but there is still an ounce of hope. Great post πŸ™‚

  2. We have to connect with the readers – they need to relate to what the characters are feeling and experiencing. But they need to see that character grow. A lack of growth is frustrating. The reader wants to know that it is possible to overcome.

  3. As a reader, you made some good points. I want to feel something in the first sentence or two. And nothing drives me more crazy than a cover that never connects to anything in the story. I once was reading a book and the author described the protagonist as having auburn tresses. The cover model was a blond? LOL

  4. Great post. I think you did a great job of covering what’s most important to me.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. I like characters who are relatable. People that either make me laugh because I’ve done the same thing or can imagine doing the same thing.

  6. Very good points. Connecting to a character does make it easier to read the book. A fascinating world also usually intrigues me.

  7. I think I look most for a sense of wonder, which is why I’m into fantasy and scifi. If I feel as though I’m about to be transported to a new and wonderful world, that’s enough for me to keep reading, at least for a while.

  8. Generally, it is the cover or title that first catch my attention. I then read the blurb, if like the blurb I will probably buy or at list mark to recheck and send myself a sample copy if on Amazon. I return often to my samples and buy as a voracious reader, unfortunately, those are the only times I normally return unless just come across again or recommended by a friend.

    The first 3 pages or if I give a chapter chance will hook me, or I probably won’t finish reading unless committed to reading it. I admit there have been books that turn out to have really good stories that did not hook me in that first paragraph and hold me. Had I not agreed to read OR was recommended as good read which will cause me to continue I would probably set aside. My time and my reading time are valuable to me, so won’t waste on something that is hard to get through.

    I like strong characters. I like to laugh, love and have an adventure. Quality story is important, which normally requires a solid plot. It has to have some logic, a direction and give me a satisfying ending in some way which is usually based on the story question/problem intro in the beginning of the book.

    Great post Anna,
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • There have been books that didn’t hook Bossman when he was young. Believe it or not, The Harry Potter series was one of them.

      He had absolutely no interest until Harry threw his first spell. Then away we went. πŸ™‚

  9. I definitely need to feel some kind of connection if nothing else.

  10. It varies for me – sometimes I want something fast and suspenseful, other times I want something where I can immerse myself in another time period, another place. Generally speaking though, it usually comes down to a connection – some way, somehow – with the characters.

  11. A connection is very important. For suspense stories, I need it to be gripping immediately. For romances and YA books, I really need to find a connection to the MC right away, because those types of books are driven by characters even more than perhaps suspense stories.

  12. I guess the thing is it’s different for every reader. A story is so much in the eyes of the beholder. What one reader loves, another doesn’t and so on. I think I’ve always gone by the title, then the cover, and I always check the first page to see if I’m hooked to read further! πŸ™‚

    • That’s my point. Write what you love because there are readers out there. Everyone is looking for a great story suited just for them.

      The cover, blurb and first page are how they discover what’s inside. πŸ™‚

  13. Pingback: How to connect with a reader? Your first sentence makes a big impression! | dave94015

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