Reader Expectations.

I am aware that all readers have their own tastes and expectations when they choose a book. Many are die hard fans of their chosen genre and will consume every variation of their vampire sagas, romantic encounters or else stories about the flawed detective in police procedurals and crime novels. Readers know what they like and what they want!

Do we write to please the reader or please ourselves?  It is almost like two different planets of the universe. Those who write to please the reader live in big houses, while those who write to please themselves are on welfare – I believe – or else have a day job.

Book review:Case of the Mahjong Dragon

The latest review on my collection of Russell Holmes stories has made me consider some awkward realisations about my book.

Have I misled or deceived the readers’ expectations?

By using the name Holmes and having a similar collection of characters, albeit the stories are set in Glasgow rather than London, have I unwittingly sullied the genre? The POV is that of the lead character and the idea is similar in style to Sir Author Conan Doyle’s most famous private detective Sherlock Holmes. However, I did not adhere to the strict code of the true pastiche and have unintentionally varied the imitation such to confuse readers, who may have expected a firm Sherlock Holmes story, by creating conflicting images in their minds.

Perhaps publishing my take on a Victorian detective, I have inadvertently fell into a trap set by Moriarty and dipped my toes in an acidic bath of offence towards all true Holmes fans. But then again for all ‘you’ know I just might have accepted Moriarty’s challenge to subvert all who live in 221B.

I note however the world of films have their own unwritten rules: that is just do what sells.

In all honestly I am grateful to the reviewer for their honest opinion and the fact they have taken the trouble to read my book and I am sure secretly enjoyed it.

7 responses to “Reader Expectations.

  1. Speaking just for myself I have found that if I ever give too much thought to who I am trying to please it all goes pear shaped. I think I just have to write for the sake of writing. I am sure my publisher shakes his head in despair sometimes but I just don’t know how I could change it and still enjoy the writing and for me enjoying the writing is what makes it worthwhile and I truly believe it’s what makes it work. If a reader has taken the time to comment then at the very least you have captured their attention for a period of time – I reckon that is an achievement in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this story, and you should be proud of it.


  3. I think it’s best to write for oneself. Otherwise stories can become engineered and overthought. I don’t write stories myself (well I wrote one once) but I like to try my hand at poetry and drawing cartoons and I always find I flow better when writing / drawing what I want (emphasis on I) I would say stay true to yourself and what you enjoy writing.
    I haven’t read your books but I reading your blog posts and your bit above about dipping your toes in an acidic bath of offence made me chuckle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are that James McEwan…good to know…I still need to read your books…but the approach as far I know is a great take on Holmes…following you to read more of you…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.