Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Reader, Projected

As I continue to write, how am I to trust my own eye for detail? What should I include in a story that is in the process of unfolding? What aspects of my character’s verisimilitude are essential to establish the landscape that will best convey their reality? Should these consideration even be made consciously, by me, the creator of this fictitious world? A sensible argument can be made that would suggest this process lies in the harnessing of a muse. As she reveals, I take notes and perhaps it is better not to ask clarifying questions along the way.

Is less more?

Up to this point, I have been obedient to the screen of my imagination but the more I read of other writers I respect, the more I begin to doubt this passive approach. I am falling short.

In my admiration, I lose the objectivity which provides the courage to just keep writing. I become the Dickensian Oliver Twist, going back for more gruel. My self-confidence dissolves and I am left to that device which I mistrust even more -- I try to formulate the reader in my mind so that I might address them directly.

In composite, this person is well-read and hard-to-please; they are brutally judgemental. My efforts to satisfy their finicky tastes knows no limit and it is always detail they seek. They want to know more but I am as dry as an over-pumped well; my imagination has nothing further to deposit. How can I accommodate them and their insatiable appetite for the particulars I cannot presently see? I ask this because I do not wish to change what has already been written. It has been so difficult to write what already exists so I protect it instinctively. Still -- the reader presses; I over-heat and dissociate from the dilemma. Perhaps when I re-visit some of these thinner sections at a later time, I will be satisfied with simply tweaking some of the sentence structure that already exists? This has worked before. The passage of additional time will save me from tearing what exists apart to satisfy my terrible insecurity.

Sometimes, when the wheel turns, I see the whole thing differently.

{Artwork by Leonora Carrington}

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