What Do Readers Want? Connection.
I was driving home from work on Wednesday behind a slow-moving dump truck. I wasn’t too happy about it until we passed a dirt parking lot where two little boys were playing. They saw the truck and began madly pumping their arms in the air. The truck driver blew his air horn and I watched the boys erupt in delirious laughter.
That, I think, is what readers want. They want to be transported to a moment they’ve forgotten about, but now remember so clearly since you–the author–reminded them.
I’d forgotten being a kid on the side of the road seeing a big truck and making that tugging motion asking the driver to please, please, please blow the horn. And when the driver did? It was like I had willed that blast of sound into existence. For those few seconds the man behind the wheel and I connected and we were in perfect agreement. It was wonderful.
Those are the moments in books that really grab me. When a character does something or feels something or thinks something that I have done or felt or thought. And in that moment the reader and the writer know each other.
As an author that’s what I’m aiming for–moments of kinship that remind us we’re all in this together. Blast that horn!