When someone picks up a book and begins to read, there are a few things that they subconsciously expect. These expectations must be fulfilled or the reader will likely put the book down. Every writer is making certain promises to the reader, sometimes without knowing it, that must be kept, or the reader will feel cheated.
There are many such promises that are made throughout a piece of writing. There are far too many to mention considering all the different genres, styles, topics and lengths of writing. The possibilities are endless! But there are a few promises that apply to all writing no matter its length or type.
#1 It will not be a waste of time.
No matter what is being read, every reader who picks up a piece of literature and begins reading is expecting a reward for the time spent reading it. We all have to choose carefully how to spend our time. The same goes for reading. If the reader feels they are wasting their time reading, they won’t continue.
#2 You will be rewarded for reading.
Would you read something that you knew would be absolutely boring, unpractical, un-enjoyable and would not give you any important information? Of course not! We read because we expect to gain something from it. Either a good laugh to rewind after a stressful day, or for the thrill of learning something new and important.
#3 Each selection will have unique rewards.
How would you choose between reading an article about chronic illness or a novel about a superhero? Your choice would depend on what you want to get out of it. People read more of certain genres than others because there are unique, specific reasons for reading different genres. Whether it’s a mind-stretching mystery novel, or a simple recipe, the reward of reading it will be different. Every genre has its own way to reward the reader.
No matter what piece of writing you decide to read, you expect to get something out of it. So no matter what you write, you should be aware of the promises you are making and actively work to fulfill them.