I talk a lot, both in here and other platforms, about how important it is to have a group of people around you to read your work. These people should consist (at the very least) of readers, writers, and editors. But it’s that extra set of people that I’d like to bring to light, today.
Ask people who don’t read, to read your work.
I know, it’s not going to be easy. Sometimes it’s hard enough to talk readers into reading new books, so I’m sure you’re thinking it’d be even harder to get a non-reader to read something. And you’re right, which is part of the point.
See, it’s important to find people you know and trust, who support you in your endeavors, and who are willing to read your work, because it’s by you. They do exist, I swear. I have a couple of them in my circle.
Some of those people are the ones who will be able to help you ensure your work is as it should be, that everything makes sense to everyone. Because these people, these non-readers you’re getting to read your books, are people who will ask more questions than the average reader.
Let’s face it: half the time, that’s what we need.
We need readers who will help us know what needs tweaking before our book hits shelves. We need writers, who can show us where we might have gone wrong here and there. We need editors to make sure everything is as clean as possible. And we need non-readers so we know that every last question that needs to be answered has been addressed and that the book is serving the purpose we meant for it to serve.
These are just some of the questions I ask my non-reader readers to answer, once they’ve finished reading my manuscripts:
- Did you get confused at any points?
- Did the characters seem as real as those on television?
- Did you struggle to “see” anything that was described?
- Were there any points in the story where you felt you were left hanging?
- Is there anything that could be changed, to resolve any of these problems?
And trust me, a non-reader will notice things very differently from someone in the field.
The hardest part is finding one who will let you convert them into a reader.
Associate Editor, etc.
p.s. short post today, since Tammy and I are at Maranatha Writer’s Conference. We’ll be back to full swing next week!