You can hand someone the moon but it won’t impress those who demanded the stars.
Give readers what they want. This makes the writing process smoother.
Before you launch your rocket and write that book, take 12.
What the reader wants:
1 TO DISCOVER
Take the reader on a journey he or she will never forget. Out of this world will do. Make sure you are familiar with the landscape before the characters are released. Details, darling.
Recommended TF10P: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
2 TO ESCAPE
Have you hung out in the real world lately? Sometimes the reader just wants sunshine. Yes, Barbados will do nicely, thank you.
Recommended TF10P: The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson.
3 TO FIND ANSWERS
The truth is never simple but it doesn’t stop the reader wanted to find out more. Throw in an unreliable narrator and it adds an irresistible twist.
Recommended TF10P: Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey.
4 TO CATCH THE KILLER
The reader who loves a whodunnit must not be disappointed. Bring on the clues, suspects, action!
Recommended TF10P: The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier
5 TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
No one has the perfect life (don’t let Instagram and filters fool you) but we can dream can’t we? The reader loves a troubled soul and a saviour.
Recommended TF10P: About a Boy by Nick Hornby.
6 TO FEEL SOMETHING
The reader has a big heart – squeeze the most out of it as a writer. Tackle a subject that could affect us or our loved ones and make a powerful connection.
Recommended TF10P: Still Alice Lisa Genova.
7 TO UNLOCK SECRETS
Everyone has a secret. Some secrets are more scintillating and suspenseful than others. The reader wants the writer to reveal all.
Recommended TF10P: Woman With a Secret by Sophie Hannah.
8 TO WITNESS CHANGE
Coming-of-age novels often mark the surface of a reader’s heart. The child-to-adult transition is often awkward and painful but fingers crossed we’ll get there in the end.
Recommended TF10P: The Outsiders by S.E Hinton.
9 TO PUSH BOUNDARIES
The reader loves a fresh twist on an established genre. Shaking up the dystopian storyline is a brave, new move that the reader will love.
Recommended TF10P: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill.
10 TO SATISFY CURIOSITY
What happens now? The reader wants to know. Do the characters live happily ever after or is someone going to get hurt?
Recommended TF10P: Us by David Nicholls.
12 TO TWIST AND TURN
The reader loves a smart plot performance that never loses momentum. We’re talking about the book that is good enough to read twice.
Recommended TF10P: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.