Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reading - the ultimate escape

A book is a splendid thing. The need to create is as strong for a writer as is the reader's desire to crack that spine or open the next book on their eReader. But a creative balance exists that requires the imaginations of both parties for a story to truly leap off a page.

How much should the writer share? How much can they gloss over, thereby allowing the reader to color in the rough sketch themselves? Too much information can drag a story to a halt. Too little, and you risk confusing your audience. Personally, I prefer incidental details be given sparingly and for the purpose of setting the stage or tone, otherwise they can pull the focus from where it actually belongs.

Engaging the reader is like a delicate dance, a seduction of the senses. A writer doesn't want them to be passive. Their participation, their involvement in the story, is vital. After all, these aren't merely words we've written, they're emotions. Passion. Either the characters or the tension of the plot needs to connect with the reader on a visceral level.

As with a play, the scene can and will change, but it's the cast who will ultimately hold the audience spellbound, leaning forward in their seats. Their gasps will come exactly where the writer and director planned it. Hearts may flutter. The audience might even make soft, involuntary sounds as they're drawn deeper into the tale.

When it's over, hopefully they've been moved in some positive way. Whether the writer's goal was to entertain, stir, or thrill their audience, we all hope to connect with them in a positive way. Enough so that when we open a new door, they'll gladly choose to walk through it and to meet more of our characters.

Image by Andrew Ferez/deviantART


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