What is your goal for your book? What do you want readers to take with them?

I would like readers to take with them a slightly different way of looking at the world, perhaps seeing it in a better light or a maybe just a more truthful slant. And if not that, I’d like them to feel good about having spent time with my characters. The best compliment I ever received was from someone who said he didn’t want the book to end.

Here are some goals other authors have for their books. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Jerold Last, Author of “The Ambivalent Corpse”

I try to write books that are fast moving and entertain the reader, while introducing the readers to a region where I’ve lived and worked that is a long way from home for most English speakers. Montevideo, Salta, Machu Picchu, and Iguazu Falls are characters in these books, and the novels will have succeeded for me if some of you say that you’d like to visit these places because they seem so vivid and real.

From an interview with Polly Iyer, Author of “Hooked”

My goal is a good read. I always have issues in my books; otherwise, they wouldn’t interest me. I like to dig deep in my characters’ pasts in order to explain why they’re the way they are. Sometimes, in doing that, I get into some heavy subjects, but that’s okay.

From an interview with Qwantu Amaru, Author of “One Blood”

This is a great question. At its heart, One Blood is a book about the danger of belief. We believe things so blindly that sometimes we find ourselves in situations where that belief is challenged and we react badly. I would like readers to question more and follow less. Find their own paths and if they must believe in anything, believe in themselves.

From an interview with Benjamin Cheah, author of “Eventual Revolutions”

For this book, I want people to recognise that they have free will, that they can choose to make their lives better. It’s not easy, it requires a lot of work, but it’s possible.

From an interview with Alan Nayes, Author of “Smilodon”

My goal—and it’s the same with all my books—is to write the most entertaining story I know how. If the reader finishes one of my novels and can say he/she was entertained, then I did my job and I’m happy. In SMILODON, I did add a brief statement about the big cats of the world, but that was only to remind readers we are reaching a point when some of these magnificent animals may vanish forever, unless some action is taken to protect them and their environment.

So, what is your goal for your book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

7 Responses to “What is your goal for your book? What do you want readers to take with them?”

  1. Rod Marsden Says:

    Writing to entertain should be top priority otherwise nothing else you want your book to do will count for anything. With Ghost Dance I did set out to be entertaining. I also wanted to write about places that have always been of importance to me.

    In the novel I am working on, Desk Job, I am also out to entertain. Behind the entertainment, however, I want to have my say about political correctness and how it is wrong to punish people for past events and ways of thinking they were not a part of. Swapping old victims for new ones is a mad thing to do and being a mad thing to do was my way into making Desk Job entertaining. Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll are my inspirations here.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s exactly what they do, isn’t it? Swap old victims for new. However you look at it, it’s still victimization. I’m glad you found a way to present the theme. It’s a good one.

  2. joylene Says:

    I hope we all write our books for the same reason, for our readers. You’d think that would be the case, eh? No. I’ve actually met authors who write for themselves and for the money they hope to make. The first time an author told me that, I laughed because he was joking. I still think he was joking, though he denied it. He said he never let thoughts of his readers into the equation. He also went onto say that I was naive if that was my sole reason. I thought about it, realized that I love writing and that was my primary reason. But then while i was working on a WIP, it occurred to me that I was visualizing my reader reading my words and I was editing accordingly. Hmm. Food for thought.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s good you take your potential readers into consideration. There are too many authors out there screaming that the stranglehold on books the big six publishers have is dead, and now the author has control. That may be, but one thing the big six publishers never forgot was readers — they chose books they thought would appeal to the greatest number of readers. It seems that with authors are now writing only for themselves, and are writing books that appeal to the least number of readers, yet they get upset when their books don’t sell.

  3. Rod Marsden Says:

    Joylene, I honestly think you have to write for yourself to begin with. Believe me if your writing doesn’t please you then chances are good that it will please no one. This makes you number one reader for your writing. Chances are that what you like others will like and these others are your readers. As for money, there are a hell of a lot easier ways of making cash than writing. Hence you better love what you are doing and hope enough others will too.

    • joylene Says:

      Rod, I was far too quick in not mentioning the joy of writing. If it ever becomes a chore, I’ll know then it’s time to quit. Of course I writer for myself first. But my reader is the focus of my character; the reader is who she is speaking to. It wasn’t something I did intentionally when I first started out, until a mentor asked me once, “Who are you writing for?” I wanted the experience of reading my books to be intense and intimate. A positive, yet sometime difficult encounter. In Broken But Not Dead when Brendell ishares painful memories with the reader, she does so because it’s partly healing for her, and maybe even for them. In Kiss of The Assassin, when Mateo shares his first day in Vietnam, he’s speaking to other vets.

      Understanding who my protagonist speaks to has helped me to create a deeper relationship between me, my reader and my protagonist. It wasn’t easy most days, but at the end of a very difficult scene I felt confident that I’d been honest and truthful and that I’d reached down deep into the soul of my character. It’s all rather melodramatic, but I feel like I’m growing as a writer.

      Thanks for a fascinating discussion, Pat.

      • Rod Marsden Says:

        I see where you’re coming from now joylene. Yes, I want the reading of my latest unpublished work to have that intimacy and intensity really good books have


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