Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Ideal Reader

If you haven’t read Stephen King’s On Writing yet, maybe you should. I recommend it to all my writer friends. I’d defy anyone to read it and NOT want to go away and write IMMEDIATELY. It’s inspirational, and not just because Mr King got a ridonkulously huge advance for his first novel, Carrie. In On Writing, King talks about his Ideal Reader. This happens to be his wife, Tabitha, which is mighty convenient.

Do you have an Ideal Reader? A friend or loved one who lurks at the back of your mind as you write? You write something funny (maybe), and think ‘Ha! I bet that’ll make him/her laugh!’. Or you write something sad (which is more likely for me) and think ‘Ha! I bet that’ll make him/her cry!’. You’re still writing for yourself, of course, but there’s the added incentive of hoping to please someone else. Which makes sense, since, ultimately, you’re hoping that many, many complete strangers will read your book one day.

My Ideal Reader is my best friend. Hello, IR if you’re reading this! Thanks for reading, and laughing and crying in all the right places.

So, who’s your Ideal Reader, and why?


  1. Yes!! I mean, yes I've read the King book. I actually use it as a textbook whenever I teach writing. I love the way it demystifies writing with this pragmatic toolbox method. And his story about selling the pb rights to Carrie? Awesome.

    Anyway, ideal reader. Usually my writing buddy Greg. I read all his stuff, and he reads all mine, and I value his comments enormously. However for this latest book it's one of my dear friends, Jenn. I even named the main character after her.

  2. Sarah- I had to read the Carrie bit over and over again, to be sure I'd got the figures right!

    That is so cool, naming the main character after your IR for this book! I hope the MC is a goodie though...

  3. Hi Cat, have just given you an award. I think my ideal reader is me...

  4. Keren- Thanks so much for the award. It's made my day (and it's only just started! Am reassured you like the title, because I was thinking about changing it. Will keep it now.

    I'm also one of my IRs. I write what I want to read. Seems to work!

  5. I may have to look into that book. I need motivation. The only person I ever let see my creative writing is my sister. She is so good at brutal honestly LOL