Writer’s invest a lot into their stories. Time, brain cells, money for all the little extras, and big money for those self-publishing via editors, cover artists, photo rights, etc. In return each writer hopes that someone, somewhere will enjoy their creation. Until recently, I found my own personal writing aspirations as selfish. I thought only of how I could hone my craft, make it better in my eyes, channel those characters deepest emotions and wrap them to the page. I also delved into the potential pitfalls, the fears, and the agonies that come with not liking someone’s work and the inevitable fact that readers would not like mine creations. Then the light came on and I thought what about the reader’s investment?
Oh, it’s a few dollars. For self-published e-books it may be no more then a gallon of milk or a package of Oreos. Better to absorb reading material then Oreos, right? But there’s more to it then that.
As a reader, I’m investing in your character’s life, their struggles. And yes, if they don’t interest me I can turn away. Yet, for some readers we can’t turn away until we reach the end. No matter how horrible or how painful the experience is. Even if we did turn away there are still remnants of the character that remain in our minds. What we didn’t like. What we wanted to change. So even the story that spurns us still retains a shred of our memory.
As a reader, I’m investing in your character’s future. I want to know what happens beyond the last words of the page. I need closure if there’s a cliffhanger or a resolution to the daunting task ahead of them. There’s no stopping at just one little adventure. Do they die old and alone? Is there a happily ever after? I’ll always wonder and my musings may never be satisfied.
As a reader, I’m investing not only dinero, but my hours. Instead of watching television or cleaning my room, I’m sitting down to absorb your world, your words, and your people. For you to command such a precious commodity is a privilege I’m willing to give you for the chance to get lost in something wonderful.
As a reader, I’m investing my laughter, my smiles, my eyesight and any other physical reaction your characters invoke. Sometimes this could involve throwing practice or even the occasional tear. I’m submitting myself to physical action at the hands of your creation. It may wake people in my house or disturb those sitting next to me in public places.
At the end of it all, as a reader I invest for pleasure. I invest for memories. I invest for inspiration.
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