When I asked five simple questions regarding Writers'/Readers' preferences I had no idea what to expect. Needless to say the result held some surprises. We had a good turnout, (21 participants), and you all knew exactly what you liked and didn't like. Even if you answered "both" on a question, you had clear reasons for that answer.
Without further ado, the results of the survey.
1. Do you prefer plenty of conflict in your stories, or would you rather the conflict be toned down?
A. Plenty of conflict won out with (16) votes. B. Some conflict came in with (5) votes.
2. Which do you prefer? contemporary or historical? What time era is your favorite?
A. (Nine) said, "Either contemporary or historical "as long as the historical doesn't read like a history lesson." B. (Eight) voted "mostly historical" C. (Four) stressed "only contemporary
3. Do you prefer strong heros and feminine heroines? Milder men and strong women? Or both hero/heroine about the same in strength?
A. This at (20) votes, came in almost* unanimous for a STRONG hero. None of you wanted a "macho Mr. Tough Guy" who thought he was "God's gift to women," but a man who would fight to the death for his lady.
B. (One) vote came in for a milder man and "take-charge" woman. But the voter explained, the "man should have a character strength "something the woman lacks."
C. (Five) stressed their heroines be feminine and act like ladies. D. (16) stressed their heroines be savvy, smart, independent.
4. Do you find the story more enjoyable--less enjoyable when weaknesses are portrayed in the hero/heroine?
D. (21) voted unanimous for weaknesses in both, though (1) voter stressed "only a small amount" of weakness in protagonists. That's understandable for science fiction. You can't show weakness when you are battling the other world creature.
5. Do you prefer stories that are character-driven? Plot-driven?
A. "Both" got (11) votes B. Plot-driven (7) votes C. Character-driven (3) votes.
Remarks: The preferences for historical eras were as diversified as you participants. I received everything from the Pirates era, Ancient Greece, pre-Civil War period, Civil War period and the Wild West era.
I want to thank everyone for participating. This was enlightening and just plain fun.