Who is my I.R. (Ideal Reader)?
I posted a couple weeks ago about having read Stephen King’s On Writing. In it, he discussed his ‘I.R.’ or ‘Ideal Reader’ — a reader who both enjoys the genre in which he writes and is willing to give him some great feedback on any new story he creates. This person is his sounding board, his ‘tell me I’m right’ or ‘tell me I’m wrong’ person.
I have been very fortunate, since beginning this writing journey to create, friendships with a few wonderful writer friends, each who bring to me a different perspective, I trust to tell me like it is and show me when they love what I’ve written.
King goes on to describe how one such person is his wife and how he longs to hear her laugh when he expects her to laugh, cry when he expects her to cry and for her emotions to go up and down based on what he’s written.
I can’t wait for this type of response either though rather than my I.R. being anywhere near me, my three or four ‘bestest’ writer friends live 5-6 hours away from me and we converse only and ever by email, instant message and via our own blogs.
Does this hamper our relationships? Not at all. Technology of today is our friend.
How then do I get the gut-filled barrel laughs that I myself am known to belt out? Through funny little anecdotes like:
OMG! You did NOT say that!
No! Don’t go in there! No! No! No!
In the context of the story, these notes convey what I’m hoping to get out of my readers. Do I pull emotion from them? Does a scene make you want to hit the main character even though you’re a pacifist? Do you want to tear up? Have you fallen in love with your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend once again from reading my story?
My I.R.s do these for me.
Let’s say all these folks disappeared off the face of the earth one day — zapped by an alien warship — and I was forced to find new perfect friends? Well … first, it would never happen … they are just too good to replace. But … for me … I need women, somewhere in the 20-not dead category who love a good romance with a happily ever after and who want, desperately for the two main characters to end up together.
Oh … and they must like an element of the paranormal for in every one of my stories … something ‘odd’ is going on.
Who is your I.R.?