Sunday, June 1, 2014
Your Reader and Your Story
In make-believe pages men and women seek comfort, solace—a little while of feel-good-ness.
Readers sense the almost-close-to-touch dangers—to self, family, home, loved ones, the soil, the air, the gifts from the sea, birds, insects, animals, the human unborns.
Book business people sense an increased hunger for stories that make the reader feel a little more loved, safer. A happy ending, defeat of evils, triumph of love and forgiveness, a kiss from the printed word.
Many readers of our stories are not highly educated, professional types, people with lives of ease and comfort, with stable relationships, big nest eggs safe in bank vaults. Man face daily despair, medical problems, impending loss of sense and memory, in self or loved ones.
Round-the-clock TV noise that clamors with crime, loss, fear—drives many to grab hold of a book or tablet of words—a few minutes of comfort, an injection of happiness and negation of the human lot of loneliness.
A storyteller shares, briefly, his craft of make-believe—to comfort other human beings. Allows the reader to inhabit another life, find solace—if only for minutes.
Writers share their within worlds. Tellers of stories travel to a place few others know, then give that gift back.
A recent post in the Dorothy L Digest caught my eye: "Writers need a thick skin and a thin skin. A thick skin to survive rejection, oblivion and all the other insults and injuries that come with the territory. A thin skin because we have to be super-sensitive in order to feel our characters' … miseries, empathize with them."
In today's global spin there is an almost divine impulse in the creation and exchange of fiction. A very heavy burden and exchange between a writer and a reader.
As writers of stories we may well ask, are we up to the challenge?
Thelma J. Straw