A Crucial Collaboration: Reader-Writer-Character-Book | Poets & Writers
Phares, Keitha Ilene, "The relationship between author and audience: case .. sources: interviews with the author, the student readers, and the editor of the. AUTHOR AND READER IN READING AND WRITING holds that human sentence, written or spoken, and the relationships among its words (Wardhaugh . The Relationship Between Writer and Reader: Writer's Journey Roadmap: inspired writing prompts from author Laura Davis every Tuesday.
It seems straightforward—but is it? What are the relationships between these players, the relationships embedded in every novel or work of fiction? Many people nonwriters imagine the novelist to be a lofty, godlike being who wields omniscient and absolute authority over his creations, manipulating characters like puppets and compelling them to enact his every whim, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Writers are at the mercy of their creations, as I suspect all gods, ultimately, must be. The character jumps on board and takes over the controls, and the writer—gratefully, abjectly, hopefully—hangs on for dear life.
But of course this is an exaggeration, too, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
While characters sometimes have a disturbing amount of agency, the author has authority too, upon which, for their dear lives, the characters rely. The relationship between novelist and character is one of symbiosis and mutualism, and the book is the emergent field of their collaboration.
The relationship between the reader and the writer is similar. Again, the writer is usually thought to be the one in control of the reading experience, seducing readers with story and holding them in his thrall, but the reality is more complex and reciprocal. This relationship is symbiotic, too, and the book is a cocreation.
As writers, we rely on our readers to finish our thoughts and our sentences. Every word I write can only be unlocked by the eye and mind of a reader. My scenes come to life because a reader is willing to animate them with his or her imagination and lived experience. Of course, logically, this means that every reader is reading a very different novel.
The Tale for the Time Being that Reader A reads is very different from the Tale for the Time Being that Reader Q reads, and anyone who has ever been in a book club knows this to be true. There are as many books as there are readers, and writers know this and are grateful—or at least we ought to be—that there are still people in the world who love the written word enough to spend their precious days reading our books rather than answering e-mail, surfing the web, or watching Game of Thrones.
All meaning is created through relationship, which means all meaning is relative. There is no one, single, definitive book.
And because we are always changing, the words you read today mean something very different from those same words if read a month or a year from now. And while this is true for all written language, I think novels are special. I agree with her. Because it is so clearly and transparently relative.
The Author–Reader Relationship – All About the Words
Because it changes over time, just like we do. Reader, writer, character, book—these are not fixed identities we inhabit, once and for all.
We are more plastic and malleable than that—time beings, if you will—and the lines that seem to separate us are not as distinct as they appear. Is it a two-way street?
The Relationship Between Reader and Writer Essay Example for Free
Do writers have the same interest in satisfying their public? Take novelists, for instance. Does the author of the well-reviewed literary novel that's promoted at Hay or Edinburgh have any sense of an informal contract with his or her audience?
This question is not as bizarre as it sounds. In the days when writers understood their job to mean entertaining a readership, when "story" was not a dirty word, and when popular literary magazines carried serial fiction by writers like Conrad, Stevenson and Hardy, the writer had a strong sense of the marketplace and its demands. At the high end, this produced Far From the Madding Crowd.
More commercially, it yielded Conan Doyle's evergreen hero, Sherlock Holmes, and his villainous opponent, Moriarty. By the time the generation that included Conan Doyle, John Buchan, JM Barrie and Arnold Bennett was dead, the writer had become an artist, far too elevated in his or her concerns to be bothered with the tastes of the masses.
Meet the readers? No thanks
In our time, those who, like JK Rowling, pay attention to their audiences can reap great rewards. Rowling's success is grounded in a telling throwback to Victorian and Edwardian literary norms: What does the public want?
A fathomlessly evil villain, some hocus pocus and a boy with a wand. Today, writers are acutely aware of the market, but in the abstract.
The Author–Reader Relationship
They fret about sales and advances, but rarely translate their concerns into any consideration for readers. Practically speaking, they often disdain them. How often have you come away from a literary festival with a sense of regret at the failure of the big name in the marquee to live up to your expectations? Apart from Rowling, a one-off in all senses, if there is a genre where the old contract between writer and reader is still going strong it must be thrillers.