Things I’ve seen often (stupidly often) on this forum, and in books on writing, are statements like: “The reader wants a hook on the first page”; “The reader wants a simple vocabulary because he won’t bother looking things up in a dictionary”; “The reader hates long sentences”; “The reader hates prologues” and so on. Who is this Reader? I contend that the Reader doesn’t exist. Sure, there are some readers out there who match the template I’ve suggested, but there are a great many readers who do not (myself, for example). There’s a huge variety of readers out there, and you can’t just assume they’re all the same and that they all want the same things. I happen to like slow beginnings. I like a variety of sentences – long, short, complex, simple. I like a variety of approaches to storytelling. Three-act structure means nothing to me. Life doesn’t organize itself that way; why should fiction? This Reader drives me crazy. He doesn’t exist, and yet he seems to rule over us. I reject him. I just hope my work finds the reader who’s looking for it – that’s MY reader.