I’ve been thinking a lot about the different communities of readers in the world. As a future published fiction author, I want to write books that readers will like. At the same time, I want to write books that I like.
A lot of book characters have different lifestyles than I do.* Which is fine, but sometimes I wish I could read about a character more like me. So perfect; I’ll write that character!
But I see these things so often… is this what readers want? Is my writing career doomed if I can’t muster the willpower to include these in my books?
Ugh I Could Never Write This
Here are some things you probably won’t find in my books:
- Characters eating junk food constantly, with relish. I dislike how the sugar and corn (syrup) industries have so much power, and how their products cause major health problems.
- Female characters wearing makeup and heels. Some women like to wear these—great. But other women wear them because they are expected to in their job or situation, which bothers me.
- Characters wearing perfume and cologne. I have a hypothesis about scent: Studies show that scent helps humans determine who their compatible partners are. So wouldn’t wearing perfume or cologne confuse the issue? Blinded by fragrance, people will begin relationships that are less likely to work in the long run. Also I just find all cologne stinky.
- And even if they’re not wearing cologne, characters always smell like random things (cinnamon, strawberries… sandalwood shows up a lot).
- Characters who spend their free time shopping and watching television.
Things You Might Find in My Books
Here’s what I’m likely to put in a book. I’m hoping other readers would like characters with these habits:
- Characters eating a meal with vegetables.
- Characters wearing practical clothes. And when they do dress up, flat shoes.
- Characters who wear glasses. Even on a date.
- Characters who smell like soap or clean laundry or vague, natural things like “the forest.”
- Characters who read and go on walks in their free time.
*I’m not saying these things are wrong or that I don’t ever do them, just that I don’t want to promote them or encourage them to be the norm.