14 August 2007

Consider the Reader

We as writers may start out writing just for ourselves, but even for those who are the most resistant to admit it, we each long for a readership to enjoy our projects.

Once a writer embraces that truth, our relationship to our writing changes.

One way to consider your readers or audience is to get closer to yourself. What kinds of writing do you like? How does your favorite author begin their stories? In scene or in summary? How do your scenes compare to theirs in terms of complexity, interest, excitement, character development, and truth?

What constitutes the Beginning, the Middle and the End of their projects? Can you detect what launches the character(s) into the heart of the story world towards the end of the Beginning? Does the Crisis reveal anything about the character to the his or herself or does the highest point in the story so far function only on the Dramatic Action level alone? How does the Climax show the character doing something they could not have done at the beginning of the story? Is there Thematic Significance to their writing? Is there to yours?

One of the greatest personal benefits of writing is the opportunity to dig deep for our own individual truth. The first draft for many writers skims the surface as we look for meaning and conflict shown in scene and how the characters will show their transformatio over time. Often, what we write in these first drafts is what we've heard before or learned from our family and friends, in school, and through our own reading and the news.

But once we read what we have written, we immediately sense when something does not ring true. There is no better way to learn what is true for us and what is not, than to read our words ourselves first.

As I stated in my plot book for writers, Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple, my hope for you and for me is that our search for the truth through our writing remains active and honored. We dig for the truth not only for ourselves, but for our future audience as well.

We each share the need to be heard.

We each have something vital to offer.