Monday, June 09, 2014

Reader Satisfaction

At a recent conference a writer asked if she could have the main couple in her romance end up apart. The quick answer was the book would no longer be a romance. The author complained she should be able to write any ending she wanted.

Yes,dear author, you may write any ending you want, but will your readers be happy with you?

A currently popular YA trilogy ends with the main character dying. While I thought the scene was well written and "realistic", and I gave the book 4 of 5 stars, I'm not sure I will ever read another book by this author. I was not satisfied.

Another YA series I read did not resolve the love triangle or the dystopian world by the end of the last book. Again, I was unsatisfied and will not bother to read any of this author's books again.

I am fortunate I like happy endings, so the ending I want is typically going to be the one the reader wants, too, but what do you do if you suspect your readers will hate your ending? Or your beta readers do hate it?

What is more important to you, staying true to your story, or reader satisfaction?

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