Stephen, Meet Frank – Your Ideal Reader

Good morning. Day TWO of the journey and one I’m proud to say was quite productive. Building a fantasy world is challenging to say the least, so I developed an alternative. Instead of creating it, I am simply exploring it. By starting with belief systems around the mythology and magic, I’ve been able to make my way through it quite well.

However, today’s post is NOT about the world, but about something VERY important: My ideal reader.

I read an article recently that talked about visualizing one’s ideal reader. The author said she wrote 9 books before she did this. Then, after seeing exactly who this person was (looks, mannerisms, clothes they wore, etc) she wrote her book.

The result? Best Seller and even sold the screen rights.

Hooked me!

Mine’s named Frank. He sits opposite me each morning as I write, sipping coffee at the same patio table (coffee I made, by the way), kicked back and watching – leaning in close if something catches his attention. He’s in his late 30’s, professional and likes to have fun. Likes baseball, too. Sometimes, he’s wearing a ball cap, other times not. Golf shirt, jeans and cowboy boots most times.

He has kids, too. Younger ones, maybe eight years old or so. Married and striving for a better life. It’s why he reads, to escape into fantastical worlds where heroes appear from all walks of life – places he remembers visiting in his youth, when imagination ruled the day.

He wants to read something magical & exciting, something he can share with his kids as they grow up. He doesn’t mind shedding tears and in fact, appreciates a book that can manage that. He invests his emotional energy into the books he reads and wants the same in this one he’s helping to create.

Nice guy, Frank. But when he gets bored, he’s gone and my writing morning is over. I can always tell, too. My mind drifts, I lose focus and a slight, heavy feeling fills my head. Thanks, Frank! Glad you stopped by. I’ll see ya next time, perhaps with a Costa Rica blend waiting for you.


Frank, Meet Stephen

Sunlight peeked through the dew-moistened firs, sparkling inside the watery crystals with its early morning fire. Birds flittered among the branches, warbling and chattering to one another in their musical, high-pitched voices – discussing the prospects for morning food; perhaps even a new mate.

It was a typical summer morning in one of Vancouver’s many backyards, one filled with flowers, evergreens and tomatoes – even an emerging writer and his audience of one.

“Tell me Stephen,” the man said, leaning back in his chair while sipping coffee from a blue pottery mug. “What are ya writing about today? Something good, I hope. You know how I like to stay entertained.”

“Of course it’s good,” Stephen replied, placing his leather-bound journal atop the patio table and pulling up a cushioned, metal chair. Sitting, he flipped the book open to a ribbon-flagged page and lifted a white Lamy fountain pen in his right hand. “Do I ever let you down, Frank?”

Frank shrugged and sipped his coffee. “Not yet,” he said. “But there’s always a first time.” As Stephen put pen to paper, Frank leaned forward, his boots scuffling the wooden deck with sliding thumps. The man peered into Stephen’s journal and nodded – his navy blue golf shirt just missing a spot of water left behind by late night drizzle.

“Do you mind?” Stephen said, looking up as Frank brushed back brown bangs from his deep, blue eyes. “I’m trying to write, Frank.”

“I know,” Frank said. “Just wanted to see where you were.” The man grinned, meeting Stephen’s eyes. “I like this part the best; so far, anyway. Do you think he’ll find the truth?” Potted flowers behind Frank fluttered in the morning breeze, rustling the pages of Stephen’s journal.

“He won’t if I can’t write it,” Stephen said, his mouth tilting into a smirk as the breeze ruffled his hair. Opening his arms, Stephen leaned back in his arm chair. “Can I continue or do you have more questions for me?” Copying Stephen’s motion, Frank reached for his coffee and hoisted it in a salute. “By all means, my boy,” he said. “Get to it. I need to stay entertained or I’ll leave and find someone else to make me smile.”

“Good,” Stephen stated. “Now, drink your coffee and let me work. Olga’s expecting some progress by Monday. I need to get immersed if I’m to finish on time.”

“As do I, Stephen,” Frank whispered, crossing his legs while drinking. He watched Stephen work, a smile gracing his face that spoke of fascination and intrigue. “As do I.”

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