Learn from your readers! What do readers want, and how can you better your writing? Book influencer Joan speaks on writing, but through the eyes of a reader to give authors a fresh perspective.
How do I write for my audience?
Listen to your readers
Learn from what people say about other books -- both good and bad reviews
Write with emotion and passion that's engaging
Lastly, read the interview below to hear directly from your audience
Thanks for joining the Author Blog Series! I'm Evangeline, author of King Beatrice and Love Letters from an Insomniac, and I want to give writers the opportunity to learn from the community to help harness the craft, gain encouragement, and perhaps see the process from a new and insightful perspective.
In this series, you'll hear from book influencers and authors such as Danae L. Samms, Ryan Krol, Victoria McCombs, and more! Click here to read more interviews in the series.
Let's Meet Our Reader
Joan from @joansbooktalk is a 19 year old living in Romania. She likes to read (obviously). Joan is a cinephile, but a vintage cinephile. She loves rock music and is very proud that she went to a Bon Jovi concert (her favorite band ever--cool, right??) Joan is currently studying math and physics -- a brainiac!
1. As a reader, what excites you while you read; what's important to you in stories? What do readers want to see more of in books?
In general, I like to see more action.
I noticed that most books focus their action towards the end, leaving the beginning for the character development. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, especially if the characters are well written, but it is better to present your characters dynamically, as you see them in-action rather than giving unfolded characteristics. I think this is a real page turner. When I read, the first 50 pages seem to be the hardest to get through. Things get more fluid as you pass this 50 page mark.
2. Do you have a favorite quote you've read in a book?
Honestly, I don't have a favorite quote, but I always keep a certain remarkable line from a book, though it doesn't make much sense without context. For example, I remember this well known passage:
"To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys." Rhys clinked his glass against me. "To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered."
These seem simple words, but thinking about the context, they give me chills.
Also, some verses by William Butler Yeats, found in a passage from Cassandra Clare's book: ''All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born” give me a unique feeling. The gravity of these words are matching perfectly with the action in the book.
If I were to speak of a stand-alone quote, I would choose the most recent one I discovered: "Hope in the shadow of fear is the world's most powerful motivator." by Neal Shusterman in Scythe.
3. What is a frequent mistake(s) you see writers make?
A bad love story.
If you want to create a love story, you need to have that beautiful, touching, bittersweet representation of those feelings. I don't want a happy or sad ending, I just want the author to succeed in transmitting that "spark" between the characters, something that happens so rarely, unfortunately.
If a love story is well written, the ending can never be disappointing, in my opinion.
4. Do you have a favorite book (or a favorite book for the moment)? Why did it leave such an impact on you?
I have a favorite for the moment: The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos.
I loved this book in every way. It is a book that offers a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest (I hope I'm not subjective when I say so many good things about it because I am from Romania), but I was fascinated. The characters are so well constructed, with a perfect chemistry and the love story is devoid of any cliché. It is a story about sacrifice and passion. The drama of the war irreversibly degrades families, and this is best represented by Roxanne.
5. Do you have any advice for writing a great hook for the beginning of a book?
In my opinion, the first sentence is really important. It must have a great impact on the reader and surprise the essence of the book.
Now I am reading Scythe, and the first sentence is a positive example of this: "We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill."
6. What is your favorite kind of POV to read, e.g. first person, third person limited, etc?
I like authenticity. An author said: “I describe only what I see, what I hear, what registers my senses, what I think... This is the only reality I can tell.”
However, I am not that much into the narrative perspective. Books written in the first person seem much more personal, like an intimate diary between the reader and the writer, but it doesn't matter as long as it is fluent, eloquent and captivating.
7. If you had the opportunity to tell you favorite author how you feel about their books, what would you say?
The author that managed to make my life happier was J.K. Rowling.
Her books literally changed me.
I associate the coziest moments of my life with them, and I can say they taught me how to dream and be creative. She made me forget about everything else while reading, and I think that's one of the most important things an author should accomplish. You can get lost in her magical world without even realising.
Joan is a popular bookstagrammer with a fascinating eye for book photography and a passionate reader.
Follow her Instagram to see her beautiful pictures and get great book recommendations!
If you want to be featured on her page, tag #joansbooktalk
Writing is a beautiful, yet intense craft. If you're nervous to take the leap and start, don't doubt yourself! Ask for support and guidance from your writing community, practice, and read books and articles like this.
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