The moment you decided to write something, you make a number of tacit promises to your readers (assuming that there will be some). And your work isn’t finished until you fulfill those promises.
Some of those promises include:
- a text that fits the genre you’re writing in
- something different, something new
- credible content; something of value
- cohesiveness and flow
- generally easy-to-read text
Now, did you fulfill these promises? In other words, what do you want readers to get from your work? The answer is: you should be providing something for your readers.
What’s in it for the reader
What do you want readers to take away from your work?
- Awareness? Of what?
- Insight? About what?
- Clarity? On what issue?
- Certainty about something? An aha? What was it?
- Curiosity? About what?
- An urge to act? On what? What kind of action?
- A feeling? What kind? How strong?
- A few laughs? Tears? Groans? Shouts?
- A life lesson? What about?
What makes your work different? What will your readers take away that others will miss because they didn’t read your book? Think about it this way: There’s a group of people who will end up with certain thoughts, insights, or feelings because they read your work. Or you might influence someone to dream, feel, or act differently? Maybe you’re providing something that will influence how they make a major decision.
How did you fulfill your promise?
What did you do, and where in your work, did you actually keep your word about what a reader would get?
You’re writing for a reason. One reason might be to influence a reader. Your challenge is to figure out how to do that. Give readers a takeaway—something to remember you by.
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