Friday, July 20, 2012

Reader Personalities (SPAC)

I can’t please everyone all the time. (News Alert!) Some people I'll never please. And maybe I shouldn’t try to.

I once taught communication skills…used the four-quadrant personality style matrix (Driver-Analytical-Expressive-Amiable) to explain why some people can’t sit in the same room.

We are different. (News Alert!) I’m a Driver personality. We drive the Expressive out of their mind.

I just cross-beta read with a wonderful lady I respect. She is what I call a Setting personality. She likes description, and enjoys the story’s universe defined for her.

That would drive me nuts. I like hints, and let my imagination unfurl. Instead, I’m a strong Character type, heavily edged onto the premises of the Action personality.

Is it bad to write strongly in one style?

Possibly. Balance might be nice.

But then I doubt I’d ever hit it out of the park for anyone if I did. I think I’d prefer to write for a particular reader. To wow ‘em.

Have a great day.


  1. Well, it takes all kinds.
    When I was doing my MSc, I noticed a distinct trend in contemporary literary fiction to ignore any sort of plot in short stories. There would be character, setting, dialogue or monologue -- but nothing that resembled conflict/resolution or conflict/different conflict or well, any kind of plot. It would just be a snapshot of time, a snippet of something.
    Drove me nuts.

  2. The issue of style is even more critical in a short story than a novel. Harder to get all four facets covered in 5,000 words.

    I would hazard to say, best to target hitting one style well and do what you can with a second.

  3. This is probably why we broke up. You drove me nuts, I drove you over the edge.

    But I still like you. And still miss you.

  4. I really, really like this post! (yep, I just typed "really" twice). I think this is such a great bit of information. Writers blogs very often dole out advice that includes how much description to include. And many times the advice on two different blogs will conflict.

    This is such a good explanation of why.

    And I like your choice--to not go for a balance.

    The way we choose to write is part of our voice. Part of what our readers expect. And to seek out balance just might stifle the best thing we have going.

    Great post! :-)