A good writer tells you a story. A great writer puts you in one.
I’ve done something like 45 crits in the last week, which got me thinking about why I can relate to some main characters and not to others. I read for the experience. I want to BE the main character of the book. That’s why I love writers who make me feel like I am IN THEIR NOVEL. Not on the outside looking in. IN! I had this feeling when I read Kody Keplinger’s The Duff. I was not reading about Bianca. I WAS Bianca.
But here’s the thing: there are some experiences I don’t want to have. For example, since I’ve had children, I CANNOT read or watch anything that involves a child being hurt. Is this because these things don’t happen? No. Is it because I am in denial about them happening? Heck no. It’s because, I don’t want to be the person it happens to. Not for 500 pages. Not for 5.
The point of my post is this: when someone says they don’t like your story, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Yes, maybe you wrote a book about a hot dog and it IS bad. But maybe not. If someone doesn’t like your story, maybe it’s fantastic. Maybe your writing is SO good that it makes the reader feel like they ARE the main character. But maybe, just maybe, not everyone wants to be your main character. If so, don’t take it personally. There is someone out there who wants to read a book about your main character and you will find them one day.
And now, back to my book about the hot dog…