Stephen King said, write for yourself first, then edit for readers (or something like that). Here’s the quote
- First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience.“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”
and you can read the rest of his tips here
I did write Becoming Mary for myself: I wrote the Pride and Prejudice sequel I would have wanted to read, but all the time I was aware of a reader, a reader who I wanted to come on the trip with me, to enjoy the funny bits as I did, to cringe in sympathetic embarrassment at Mary’s terrible self-deceptions and humiliations.
All the time I had an imaginary reader beside me, and I was saying, listen to this. And of course she (usually it was a she…) would laugh, cry and gasp to order.
Then I gave the book out to family, fellow writers, acquaintances in book clubs. The feedback was good – I think they genuinely enjoyed it, they weren’t just being nice. Not completely.
But what I long for now are the opinions of people who don’t give a shit about my feelings. I want to know what effect it has on strangers. I want actual readers to tell me ‘how it was for them’.
Writers need reviews!
Self-published writers especially need reviews!