Monday, January 11, 2010

Writer's'/Readers' Preference Survey Results

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.


Anne Patrick said...

Interesting results. And yes, it was very fun. Thanks for posting it!

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Laurean,
A very fun survey and the results were a bit surprising in some areas. Thanks so much for correlating it all and sharing it with us. Definitely food for thought.

Celia Yeary said...

LAUREAN--on your small sample, I am encouraged that most preferred something historical--I hope some of those prefer Western Historical!! Very interesting, and good work. Celia

Obe said...

Very interesting. As a writer I will be using this for development of my novels. Thanks for doing this.

Miss Mae said...

I think it's great that we, mostly, generally all agree. We know our likes and dislikes!

You did swell with the survey, Laurie. Lots of fun! :)

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Laurie: It was a fun survey. I think from the results it may explain why my novels/short stories are not all that appealing as I seemed to stand alone on many of the results. Thanks again for extending this opportunity and invitation. Larry

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

What a fun yet informative survey. Pleasing our audiences is a given if we want to sell, right?

Wendy Davy said...

Thanks for the info Laurie. Very interesting...


Laurean Brooks said...

And thank you for participating, Anne! Without you guys, I couldn't have done it.

Glad you foun the results interesting. So did I.

Laurean Brooks said...

Rebecca, I thought you'd be surprised. And I enjoyed correlating it.

Now let's see for my next survey... LOL. (I'll have to give it some thought.)

Laurean Brooks said...

Celia, I dare say that "Western" Historical takes up at least 50% of vote. Who can resist a Chivalrous cowboy, huh?

Thank you for your comments.

Laurean Brooks said...


I feel so humbled that you would use these survey results to develop your novels. Wow!

Thank you for participating.

Laurean Brooks said...

Miss Mae, I also found it interesting regarding everyone's similarities and differnences. But it seemed we were all sure about what we liked and/or disliked.

Thank you for taking the survey.

Laurean Brooks said...

Larry, you did stand alone on a couple of things. But as they say, "Variety is the spice of life."

I'm curious though. Could this be the predominant male perspective? Maybe it also says, if women want to gain the male readers, they have to think like a man...which could mean a milder man and a strong woman. ????

Laurean Brooks said...

Ronda, that is so true. We must please our readers...but without suppressing our own individuality and perspectives.

Wouldn't it be dull if every author wrote exactly alike? Ugh!

Thank you for your comment.

Laurean Brooks said...

Wendy, thank you for dropping by. You been scarce for a while. Hunkering down over that keyboard? LOl.

Glad you enjoyed reading the results. By the way, "Night Waves" was awesome. Gorgeous cop hero who was a true hero. And a woman who showed strength but retained her femininity.

Thanks! We need more stories like this.

Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

What a great poll, Laurean. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings, Teri

Laurean Brooks said...

Thanks for dropping by, Teri. The poll was great fun.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Laurie, I seem to be late for the party. But like all else, great results and very interesting indeed. Thanks for posting.

Laurean Brooks said...

Thanks for dropping by to read the results, Sharon. And I'm glad you participated.

Donna B said...

Ugh. I still refuse to write historicals! (But I'm never in the majority about anything anyway - well except about my heroes!)

Neat survey!

Laurean Brooks said...

Donna B,

You don't have "write" a historical. But do yourself a favor and "read" one.

You might be pleasantly surprised. I know she's rather outdated, but have you ever read one by Victoria Holt?

She got me hooked.

E.A. West said...

What an interesting survey! The results are very interesting.

Much of what I've found here on your blog is interesting, so I'm awarding you the One Lovely Blog Award. Please check it out here

prashant said...

it was very fun. Thanks for posting it!
data entry work from home