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. Itโ€™s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writerโ€™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. ๐Ÿ™‚

    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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