It’s enlightening how reading other people’s writing, in draft form, can really drive home certain points about your own writing. One of the questions I was left with today is, Who’s your audience? Are you putting them to sleep? Or, could you hear a pin drop as your story moves along? Will they want to come along with you for the intimate journey you’re promising?
Are you writing this for yourself. If so, that’s a good thing because you may, in fact, be the only person who will have the stamina to slog through it. Or, are you writing the story for a reason that’s bigger than what first seems? What is the reason? What is the reason that you’re telling yourself and what is the real reason? Who is this reader person that matters enough to you to lock yourself away, day after day, immersed in the world inside your head, causing you loneliness and doubt and driving home firsthand understanding about the statement “Just because you can write doesn’t mean that it’s a great way to live.”
So, back to this fictitious reader who matters to you enough for you to think that you might have something they’d care to spend time with. What do they look like? What do they read? What do they like to do in their spare time? Why would they care about your story? What fantasy are you fuelling in them? How are you comforting them, relieving their grief, helping them to know that they are not alone? Pour your heart and your worries and your vulnerability out to them.
Maybe then, no guarantees, you’ll be telling a story in a way that lets the other person, your reader, no matter if it’s just one quiet spirit or one thousand humans strong, that they are the most important, no, maybe the only person in the room. They are the one you had in your mind’s eye. It may even help them feel validated, known, respected, understood, delighted. If your story doesn’t do that, then it’s not there yet.