First, on this fine Sunday afternoon, let me just say that I appreciate the notes of concern I've gotten about Leonidas. After PJ (Pericles, Jr.) disappeared, I wasn't sure if he'd recover, but he seems fine, for a spider. He might have even eaten PJ, but I didn't see any evidence of it in his web, because if I had, I would have definitely given him the tongue lashing of his little spider life (No eating your friends, do you hear me!?! What will the neighbors think?). I just think PJ decided to move on to bigger and better bathroom sinks. His timing sucks, though. We are now into the "plague of the ladybugs" time of year, and he's missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
Anyway, back to touching. I like it. I like it a lot, so subsequently my characters fondle, feel, caress, stroke, etc., quite a bit. However, that kind of touching is not what I'm blogging about today. No, I want to know how you like to be touched as a reader. How do you want that book you paid good money for to make you feel after you've finished it? What part of you do you want to vibrate with satisfaction?
I ask this because I've been helping a friend out reading manuscripts, and to do this, I have to be very aware of what a reader might want to get out of reading the words and what the story I'm reading actually offers. Readers read for a variety of reasons. Some read to be entertained. Some read to feel a depth of emotion. Some readers desire that cathartic experience one can only enjoy safely by living vicariously through the exploits of non-existent people. Some want a combination of these, which is why we have a variety of genres available. Sometimes readers want a writer to touch their hearts, or their minds, or their souls, or their, er, well, let's just say other body parts.I know when I am looking for a book, I search for the kind that will feed my need at the time, and that varies. For example, I've had the urge to read something in the science fiction genre--probably a hormonal thing--but I have little to no time to read, so I needed something short and powerful. I picked Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which I've read before, to satisfy the urge. So far it's doing a nice job...with benefits.The benefits are just the same as those derived from reading the manuscripts I've been assigned--I always learn something about my own writing by reading the words of others, whether published or unpublished. I've made a list below of a few things I will try to remember as I continue to write.
1. I don't ever want to put my reader in the position of reading to the end of the story just to find out how it ends, of having to plow through useless verbiage out of morbid curiosity to see how the story winds up. I want my readers to want to keep reading because they like the characters and the story, not just because they're determined to "get through" the book because they paid for it, and, darnit, they're going to finish it!
2. I want to make sure I start with something happening, even in my alternate universe-type stories. Reading paragraph after paragraph describing the liquid crystal city and the frog people who live there without some kind of conflict or action can be a turn off to the reader, and as an erotica writer, my job is to turn them on. Heh heh.
3. I want the promise I make at the beginning of the story to be the one I keep at the end. If I promise campy, vampy fun, I shouldn't change into something dramatic and literary in the middle somewhere. If I promise literary, intellectual read, I shouldn't let it turn into a melodramatic glitzy fluff, especially if it's my fault the story runs out of literary steam.
4. I don't want my sex scenes to become stale from lack of research. Um, I just put that in there in case my husband, who is currently crawling around under our house, reads this. Hint, hint. :)
I've learned much, much more, but I'd rather hear from readers. Where do you like to be touched when you read? Mind? Heart? Soul? Parts south of the waistline? All of the above? Or does it vary according to the phases of the moon? lol