The Ideal Reader

Who is your Ideal Reader?


This is a topic which I have never given serious thought to until today, when I was browsing through Stephen King’s book ‘ On Writing’ while deciding whether to keep it, sell it on EBAy or donate it to the British Heart Foundation.

Mr King uses his friends as Beta Readers to tell him whether his books have missed the mark or not, but he also has a VERY powerful concept of that Ideal Reader being with him, INSIDE his writing room and writing head, even at the first draft stage. To him, this is an essential guide to making sure that he sticks to the story!


The Concept of an Ideal Reader SHOULD be something which is a powerful tool for someone like myself who is writing Commercial Fiction for readers who have very clear expectations when they buy a Mills and Boon Book, or a Technothriller or Romantic Comedy.

And yet, it is not something I have EVER thought about during the writing.

During the revision of ‘Always the Bridesmaid’ I did consider how powerful certain scenes would work, but I suppose my reader in this case was the Editor.

So. A question. Who is YOUR Ideal Reader? Who are you writing for?

A Critique Partner? An idealised person who you can imagine sitting on a bus or train perhaps, reading your words? Or, is it yourself?

Quite fascinating really.  🙂