Scriptwriters on most TV shows both benefit from, (and are are at times hampered by) working as a team. By the time the script finally rolls out of the washing machine-like process it has been churned out under pressure, squeezed and tumble-dried. It is then served crisp, fresh and well folded, and worn by actors who elevate it, and who are elevated by it.
A writer, though, writes alone. The reader also, and in turn, reads alone, and it is the reader then who imagines and elevates the story, who gives each character, place and narrative more sparkle and shine as s/he brings them all alive. The reader relies on his or her author to give him/her the ability to do this, just as the actors rely on the scriptwriters to give them the ability to make a given storyline come alive.
In fact, the work of the reader is clearly more multifold. S/he directs, plays all the characters, designs all the sets and scenery in his or her mind, and al that without knowing how the narrative will run, or how the story will finish. In that, of course, s/he is joined by the very best of writers, who are willing to give freedom to his or her characters to choose their own destiny within the confines of the tale. And just as the writer, the reader will not be able to see this tale to its conclusion if s/he cannot relate to it in some personal way, or has not some of his or her traits invested into it.
The reader dreams and imagines, but also interprets, adapts, and in doing so gives something a little more to the story; something perhaps unseen, or unknown until that moment . The reader needs the ”right” writer to be able to do this though, just as the writer needs the right readers to elevate his or her story.
I have read some superb blogs by intricately interesting bloggers. All speak with sincerity and experience. Some feel misunderstood by readers, some appreciate readers. Many don’t understand why readers don’t understand how much work, how much ”blood, sweat and tears” went into creating the book, and in doing so malign the reader. But who cares? The book, or even blog, is a separate entity to the writer. The writer is merely the referee, or umpire, who must be very careful not to interfere with the course of events too much, while at the same time keeping a firm, guiding hand. But when the work is in the reader’s hands, it belongs to them.
The beauty of the blog, and book, is what you see is what you get. The writer cannot lie about his or her product. The book and blog’s value lie in their ability to turn the key. But who is the true key-turner? the writer or the reader? If either fail the other, then the process, for it is a process not a product, fails, and is yet again doomed.
The reader and writer are not quite lovers, or family members, but they share a unique relationship that can span centuries. Both, as in all relationships, need each other, not in the sense that sporting teams need opponents to be crowned champions, as writer and reader are on one team.
Writing a book has been compared to all stages of childbirth. But it becomes the reader who raises the book.
- Reader’s View – Writer’s Nightmare (manishabhati.wordpress.com)
- The Passionately Curious Reader and The Writer of Great Imagination (collaborativewriter.wordpress.com)
- Life As An Writer Taking Orders From Readers (huffingtonpost.com)
- Do Readers Have an Obligation to Writers? (ptbertram.wordpress.com)
- The New World of Publishing: Maybe You Wrote a Good Book (deanwesleysmith.com)
- The Art of Narrative, Part Two: Exposition (evarieder.com)
- Should Writers Review Other Writers? A View From An Editor (wordwebbing.com)