Reader Surprise & Reader Expectation(s)

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The question being asked this month for May 2021 is: Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Reader Surprise & Reader Expectation(s)

While I like to think that not much surprises me anymore, there have been two times when I was surprised by what a reader asked or expressed.

The first time:

Upon learning I was an author, the individual asked, “Have I read anything you’ve written?”

I’ll leave you with that one for a second. (Are you laughing yet?)  I wanted to laugh but didn’t. I stared for short moment, thinking, how do I answer that one? I came up with:

“Since I don’t know what you’ve read, I have no idea.”

He blinked a few times. I’m not sure if he realized what he’d actually asked or not. Thankfully, someone else was already talking about something else.

The second time:

A reviewer responded to my novel, Grendel’s Mother, a book where I gave voice and a backstory to a character from Beowulf who previously had no voice. I stayed true to Beowulf and all incidents regarding Grendel, his mother, and Beowulf’s interaction with them.

Even someone who hasn’t read Beowulf can still read and enjoy Grendel’s Mother. It’s a stand-alone novel.

The reviewer’s comment essentially was, “I’d like to see a sequel.”

Say what? Did you actually read my story? Truly, an impossible feat considering the events at the end of my story. Because the review was online, I didn’t respond, as a good author shouldn’t.

As I was telling someone later about this comment, they said, “Well, couldn’t there be a sequel with Grendel’s children?”

I continue to be surprised.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!


About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
This entry was posted in #amwriting, #IWSG, Readers and Fans. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Reader Surprise & Reader Expectation(s)

  1. It is amazing what people will say. I guess my biggest What??? moment was when a woman at a booksigning I was doing said, “Oh I thought Jayne Krentz was going to be here.” Say what? In a small town in Michigan? It still makes me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diana Stout says:

    It IS amazing what people will say. I wonder if they get a bit tongue-tied when in front of authors. I know I did before I was published!


  3. nancygideon says:

    LOL! The reason I do not miss book signings (even though I love getting together with other writers at the signings!). My favorite question was “Are you famous?” I looked them straight in the eye and said, “Why, yes I am.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Diana Stout says:

    Oh, that is hilarious, Nancy!!! And, yes you are!!


  5. P.J. MacLayne says:

    I miss book signings. I get to be famous for a few hours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh goodness! Well, you gotta laugh at moments like these! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

    Liked by 1 person

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