You’re writing for me

As a fiction writer, you are not writing for yourself. You can write for yourself, but don’t expect anyone else to read it. Just twiddle away, write your hundreds of words a day, living in that artificial world you’ve constructed and enjoy it. But don’t expect ME to enjoy it.

You see, if you’re writing for an audience, then you have to realize you’re writing for an audience — right-up-front.

Sure you’ll go on your own private journey while you pen your story. The climbing of the icy mountain, the scuba diving off the coast of Ecuador, the rickshaw trip through the back roads of Cambodia, or Fantastica or wherever.

But while you journey and write, remember that it’s me you’re trying to engage. By “me” I mean us, we, your potential readers. Every word you write, phrase you turn, paragraph you ponder, must be done so imagining someone else reading it.

Not you reading it.

Someone, anyone, everyone else reading it. That has to be your constant, back of your mind Buddha, the little fellow who sits there and reminds you, “Hey, I don’t know what that ‘eponymous’ word means! Maybe there’s a simpler, clearer word…”

And it’s not just phasing or your lexicon that matters. It’s the big stuff. Like how fast is your story going? Do you really need all that extra description? Don’t you think that having him fail four times in a row is a bit much? Wouldn’t just twice be enough, with a clever word slipped into infer additional efforts?

Writing’s hard. Writing well is nearly impossible. But if you try it, remember, it’s not you you’re writing for. You’re expressing these wonderful visions so that WE can experience them.

 

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3 responses to “You’re writing for me

  • Anony Mole

    I hear ya. Me too. I often find though, that I want to have such stories read by others. What I’ve published (loose term there) often was crap; not because the story was crap but the writing was just me writing to me.

    As I write and prepare another manuscript (in process) I’m finding that if I don’t visualize you reading it, the writing comes out sub-optimal. The novel I wrote last summer was like that: me writing for me, no knowing the writing sucked.

    The good books I’ve read lately, in my opinion, have all had that feeling that the author stripped down the writing to just what was necessary, nothing more nothing less.

    And I appreciated it. They, I believe, wrote the story for me to read. But, again, one does not have to. But if you want to get read…

  • theconvertblog

    I have used writing as a pensieve (did I spell that right?) from Harry Potter. Just getting stories out of my head and see what happens.

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