Tag Archives: reader help

Identifying with Characters – a reader’s perspective

In one of my newer stories, I’m contemplating whether or not to fully describe physical attributes of the two protagonists.

In my mind, they are both smoking hot.

But ‘smoking hot’ means different things for different people. And with any story, erotica or not, readers tend to identify most with characters who share similar physical or mental traits.

And, with erotica specifically, readers tend to fantasize that they indeed are the protagonist.

Imagine Reader Kimberly. Kimberly is a short, thick-boned woman who is very attractive but not in the conventional, media-hyped out modern sense. But she likes herself and the way she looks. If all the erotica Kimberly reads about describes the protagonist women as slender and tall with perky breasts, the description may actually hinder her fantasies. I want Kimberly to be able to read my book as if she were reading about herself.

On the other hand, there are also the visually stimulated readers to consider; those who want to know exactly what a character looks like, because when they are reading they are creating a visual movie in their heads. They identify with the protagonists, sure, but they aren’t trying to imagine actually being the main character. They are reading a story, and details like what a character looks like really matter.

So, I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

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Filed under Book-speak, Musings and Reflections