Who is my I.R. (Ideal Reader)?

On January 6, 2011 by Aimee

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:

WAHAAAAAAAHAHAHA

or

OMG! You did NOT say that!

or

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.?

10 Responses to “Who is my I.R. (Ideal Reader)?”

  • Okay, I’ll try and answer that last question more thoroughly. My ideal reader *has* to enjoy my writing/my characters/my style/the kind of stories I love to weave. As well as liking my style of writing, they also have to *get*, to have an element of understanding of how I work, so if they point out that something’s wonky, I know it isn’t a criticism of my style I’ve adopted (trust me, it happens). If you’ve got all these elements from your IR? When you get the “wahahahahahas”, you *know* you made them laugh out loud for all the right reasons. When you get the “OMGs”, you know you shocked them for all the right reasons. And when they tell you something’s wonky/fishy/not sitting right/unplausible/out of character? Then you damned well know you have to sit up and take notice because if anyone spots those inconsistencies and dodgy moments, your ideal readers will.
    That a better answer? :)

  • Awe!! ::love::
    And yes, the 2nd answer was way better.
    Or not.
    I still like the 1st one too! ;)

  • My I.R. is someone who loves to read anything and everything. Someone like me who can read a young adult novel one day and read Rand or Tolstoy the next. Someone who can appreciate all aspects of writing and appreciate the value in what any one story has to offer. As I want my story to cross age barriers, then age doesn’t matter. Of course, if you love young adult fantasy novels, then you are my target audience, but I would be more than honored if you just love to read, you can’t put my novel down and you hunger for more. In that case, I will love you forever!

  • …but I would be more than honored if you just love to read, you can’t put my novel down and you hunger for more. In that case, I will love you forever!
    The above: SO TRUE!! Completely! I’m with you 100%

  • I’m so looking forward to my Stephen King book to arrive. My I.R. is someone who’s well-read, who reads simply for the pleasure of reading, and loves fiction. Oh… and also open to unhappy endings.

    Also, I nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award: http://reenajacobs.com/blog/2011/01/blog-awards-and-day-2-winners/

    Happy Blogging!
    Reena

    • Sorry this didn’t auto-approve. Any links in the comments get sent to moderator. :) But thank you for that nomination! :) :)

  • I forgot to mention, the Notify me of followup comments via e-mail doesn’t seem to work for me. I keep getting an error (comment doesn’t exist or something like that.