Expectations can be tricky things. When something doesn’t go as expected you tend to be disappointed, for example our family went to a special Christmas event. Considering average ticket cost, location and what I’d read online I had certain expectations.
They were not met.
It put a damper on the evening. The event was still fun, but I feel like it would have been much more enjoyable if I didn’t have those expectations. But meeting expectations in a story too much can lead to a very bland plot, as the reader can predict everything that will happen.
When you’re writing you have to meet certain expectations and obliterate others.
For example if you write fantasy, you must fulfill the reader’s expectation of something fantastic (magic, princesses, dashing knights, dragons, super powers – or perhaps your own spin), but you have to not take the story in obvious directions, or if you must, make it a red herring, throw in a huge twist, stick a damn spanner in the works and run away laughing into the night
Sometimes as well we get excited about something. A friend raves about a book, so we go in expecting genius, but when we read it ourselves – well it’s good, but I’m not going to run down the street naked screaming of its brilliance. So expectations can be at fault for disappointments in a different way too.
Have you had an expectation for something then been let down, either through the hype of others or even your own hype? What about the other way around, not expecting much but then had your mind blown? I’d love to hear about it.
both pictures copyright Disney, top one also copyright Annie Leibovitz (from her Disney Dream series)