Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Writing ... For Oneself or For the Reader?

Over at the Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency blog, they wrote a post called the "Right From the Heart."

So should a writer write for themselves, or for the audience? It's a combination--I believe a writer should be so delighted about their world, that they passionately want to share that world with readers.

Which should be more important? Well, in the first few Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling just seems enchanted with her world, and I can feel her desire to share it. I'm currently reading Hawke, by Ted Bell.

In both, I feel like I'm looking at a storyteller's art. So many books lately seem self-absorbed, stories for stories sake. Both J.K. Rowling and Ted Bell feel like they are more interested in telling a story, than just writing a story.

When I sit down with their books, I'm enchanted. Me, a plain not-so-old midwesterner, is fascinated reading about an upper crust English gentleman, a pirate nonetheless, just because I feel embraced by the author. He wants to tell me his story so much that I want to listen.

So maybe neither of them feel that way. Maybe I'm just making up those feelings. But all the arts are in the eye and ear of the beholder, not the author. Art exists for an audience.