Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You can't please everybody

The truth of this doesn't make it any easier to handle. As a writer, I always want my readers to be pleased. I want them to enjoy the experience of my stories. So, when you read this post, don't take it the wrong way. I definitely care what readers think, and I always have.

So, what prompted this post? Well, I read someone else's blog, of course. LOL I was reading a blog that had this REALLY long list of reader pet peeves and complaints.

It went on and on about one thing and another that readers hated to see in a romance novel. Some of these were obvious. For example, nobody wants a stupid heroine or a hero who is a total jerk.

But some of them were very surprising. Who doesn't want to hear that the hero is well-endowed? Really? Why would anyone want to read a romance novel where the heroine finally got him naked and was like, "Meh?" Ha. Ha. Ha. Sorry, but that was what I pictured when I read that complaint.

Another complaint that I think is a little nit-picky is people complaining when the heroine puts herself in danger. Okay, I get this in general. Don't go running around with a pair of scissors and a lit match in a dry corn field. But seriously, people expect the heroine to not be in danger in a paranormal story? Many of these stories include danger as part of the premise. If the woman is a vampire hunter, for example, she not only has to be in danger at some point, she will likely put herself there on purpose. I understand not wanting someone too stupid to live, but there must be some danger to move the plot forward. Otherwise, it's boring and goes nowhere.

I had someone complain once that Lilith in my Werewolf Hunter series put herself in danger too much. Um, what part of werewolf hunter did they miss? It is her JOB to put herself in danger to protect other people.

The post I read went on and on about how "I want an average guy instead of a hunk all the time." There are many publishers that address this as a part of their guidelines for submitting a story. Many say that if you want to write about the guy next door, write for someone else.

Same thing about being well-endowed. I've seen guidelines that state the hero is "always gorgeous and always well-endowed.." Period. It is not up for discussion with most publishers of erotic romance.

One reader wanted the hero to be extremely alpha-male and always in charge while another said that type of take-charge behavior came off as pushy to her.

I guess my point is this, you really can't please everybody. Some people will like your stories and understand them and some won't. We all like different things.

Most importantly, DO NOT read posts like the one I mentioned and then try to write. It will kill your creativity in a heartbeat. You can't write and try to keep everyone's pet peeves in mind. If you do, you won't be able to tell the story for wondering if someone will complain about it. You will end up tearing apart every little detail and possibly lose your sanity.

I do my best to entertain. That's all any of us can do.


D. X. Luc said...

Love this!!

D. X. Luc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey H. Kitts said...

Thank you. :)

Hildred said...

Eh, I can understand the "well endowed" thing. It's pretty eye rolling to find out that everyone is always gorgeous with the perfect qualifications to be a porn star. Then again, I like realism in my story. I've got more than one hero who is just "average" ;) (Same with female characters. Some readers are despondent to find out they all don't have huge boobs...hm.)

This is another reason why I prefer self-publishing though. I get to make my own rules for those who are sick of the same ol'. Right now I'm writing romance, and the only convention I stick with is the HFN/HEA. I've got a story coming out soon with an infidelity plot that will make some people froth and ragequit just for existing. Oh well. I'm not out to please those people.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

For everything each of us likes, there is someone else who dislikes it. LOL

I agree, self-publishing is great as far as creative control. I try to find a happy medium between what I personally like and the majority of my readers also enjoy. :)