Respect is a virtue. It isn't given, it is earned. The same can be said about love. (Makes one wonder what happened in the picture.)
How do writers earn respect from their readers? Of course, we must write the best story we can, but I feel it also has to do with the content in our novels. Do we show our readers characters who overcome trials by making wise choices? Do we take the time to give thorough context in our stories? Do we deliver a story that teaches a value and when the story ends leaves your readers with closure?
Characters who grow . . .
Interesting characters overcome trails and are strengthened. They suffer, they cry, and they learn from their mistakes. Nothing is more boring than to follow a character who never grows. They are boring. Who wants to read hundreds of pages about a person who never has anything happen or who never learns from trials? No one. If your characters are stagnate so is your story. Every human being has bad things happen. Your readers want to learn how to overcome adversity. They want to cheer for someone. They want to see the underdog overcome and win.They want all this because it shows them how they can do the same.
Context in our stories . . .
There are always two sides of every story. Show them to your reader. A villain isn't totally bad. A hero isn't totally good. Give context (history) to your characters. This shows what made them the way they are by their choices. This will add depth and give your readers reasons to empathizes with your characters. If your context has been thorough your hero/heroine will do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.
Delivering the story . . .
Your book makes a promises to readers: that they will be entertained, have a thrilling journey, and will have a resolution. Deliver on those promises. Give them a story that will make them laugh, make them cry, and keep them on the edge of their seats. Also your story must have a satisfying resolution. I must confess I broke this promise with one of my books because it ended with a cliffhanger. I had written the sequel and fully expected it to be published right after. Unfortunately that decision was not mine to make. I'm working hard to deliver on that promise, and I'm hopeful I can very soon. But I learned this lesson the hard way. Don't make my mistake. Always have a good resolution to your story.
If you deliver the best story you possibly can to your readers you will earn their respect and love. And you'll add to your virtue. :)
Do you think the dog has respect or the mouse? Which symbolizes the writer? Which symbolizes the reader?