Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writers Write, Readers Read

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

Readers: When you read a novel do you ever think about the person who wrote the book? Do you ever have these thoughts: where did this author come up with this story; where did the author find these characters; are the characters like real people in the author’s life; is this really fiction, etc.?

Writers: When you write your novels do you ever think about your readers? Do you ever have these thoughts: what kind of person will read my book; will both women and men read my book; will readers like my book; will readers like my story and my characters, etc.?

 Readers: When you’re nearing the finish of a novel do you ever try to figure out the ending beforehand? Do you ever have these thoughts: will the bad guys get caught and punished; will the good guys be happy in the end; will the ending surprise or disappointment me; will I be glad I read this book, etc.?

Writers:  When you write your novels to you try to make the story unpredictable? Do you ever have these thoughts: will my readers figure out the ending before they get there; will the ending surprise; will the ending disappointment them; will the characters’ outcome be pleasing to my reader, etc.?
 Readers: When you read a novel do you ever wonder about where the writer’s physical location is when writing the book? Do you ever have these thoughts: does this author write books at the kitchen table; does this author have a professional office; did the author begin like J.K. Rowling, writing her story on napkins in a coffee shop, etc.?

Writers:  Do you have a professional office where you do your writing? If so, is your office in your home or away from your home? Or do you use a legal pad and pen to write your stories wherever or whenever you can? In nice weather do you ever write outside?


Summary: I would guess that we—readers and writers—at some time have asked ourselves some of these questions. As a reader I think probably most readers would answer yes to their questions above. As a writer I know that I would answer a resounding yes to the writers’ questions above. I do write on a computer so guess that’s the end of any comparison between me and J.K. Rowling. 

Considering all of the above, that’s one reason why authors have book signings—hoping they will meet those who read their books. And as a reader I’m certain it’s a lot of fun to meet the writers of books I have loved.

So maybe authors and their readers have a “mutual admiration society.” Writers write and readers read and they all live happily ever after.

"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."
—Rita Mae Brown, American writer


Till next time … keep on smiling.

4 comments:

  1. I think of readers in the way that I remember all the great books that helped shaped my own life and make me what I am. I want nothing less out of a book than to make a positive impression on someone's life. As a reader, I love to read well-written books, word wise and I'm more character driven than plot driven. I resist all temptations to read the end...well, mostly. :)

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  2. Jennifer, thanks for your comment; very well put.

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  3. Wonderful post, Jo, and very informative. I love how you list out the questions we as writers should be asking ourselves - great food for thought! And I enjoyed reading the questions readers might ask themselves about the books they read.

    As a writer, I agree with Jennifer's comment above - I, too, so want to make a positive impression in someone's life with my books. As an avid reader from an early age, I remember making up sequels to many of the books I read as a child. :)

    Thank you for sharing this important post, Jo!

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  4. Penny, thanks for sharing your insight into what writers and readers talk to themselves about. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for your comments.

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