top of page

The Real Main Character: Are Your Readers Involved?

There are two specific, yet lofty goals writers strive for every time they commit words to paper. That goal is to write in such a way as to draw their readers into the written word.

If this goal is in fictional writing the author wants the reader to become so absorbed in the story that they are both satisfied, yet sad to see the story end.

If this goal is in non-fiction the writer accomplishes the objective by relating details in a way that leaves the reader interested in the subject and with a desire to learn more.

For the successful fiction writer the term most often applied to this principle is Active Participation. When a consumer steps up the book display they are looking for certain things such as cover design, color schemes, and just enough information to allow them to make their choice in thirty seconds or less. Once the reader has the book in hand they

desperately want to be an active participant in the work. They want to identify with your character and involve themselves in the plot line. They want to stay up till 2 o'clock in the morning losing themselves in a world you created. They simply want to know if you are going to be able to make that possible for them.

For the non-fiction writer the goal is to connect the reader to Active Learning. This process has seen non-fiction books include bullet points, 'did-you-know' segments and a link between facts and famous individuals that were involved. School textbooks are full of color and sidebars as they try to connect with students to bridge the gap between factual information and innovative ways to encourage active learning.

It is possible for both Active Participants and Active Learners to approach the written word with an inborn desire to learn and/or participate in the storyline. In this scenario, the majority of the work is already done.

If a student comes to a textbook with a refusal to learn, then the best textbooks available may not be able to break through the student's self-imposed learning barrier. Similarly, if an individual purchase a novel with a n 'impress me' mentality and are only interested in finding any inconsistency or flaw they may have difficulty participating in the work of fiction. Then again, they didn't really come to participate.

Ultimately what this means to the writer is there is a need to work hard in the removal of any stumbling block in an effort to allow your readers to become the active participant and active learner they want to be.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page