Thursday, 24 May 2012

Writing For Your 'One Reader'

I was re-reading a post recently on the Shrinking Violet Promotions blog, a post by Mary Hershey on Elizabeth Gilbert's approach when writing her book Eat, Pray, Love. It seems that Gilbert's audience—in her mind—was simply her friend, Darcy. She'd targeted her book to only one reader... and that made all the difference.

I remember how much of a 'wow' moment that post was for me when I first stumbled upon it. I've always had this habit of juggling multiple audiences in my head while catering my story to all of them. I try to make my work funny, witty, romantic, adventurous, fantastical... I want so much to provide a feast for a rich banquet hall that sometimes I forget to focus on creating a single meal for that someone who really needs it.

The merits behind this philosophy are remarkably straightforward. Such focus would, more likely than not, create an authentic voice in the story, as Mary Hershey notes in her post. That Gilbert sold a million copies of her book makes perfect sense because the voice of her writing was true, real. It was, ultimately, honest. And Gilbert's honesty resonated with a waiting audience who could recognise something true when they saw it.

These past few weeks, I've been working hard on revisions for Mesmer, Book #2: Favoured. It's been really tough sometimes. Life has a way of throwing you curve balls when you least expect it, and it seems (as usual, for me) that it's gonna be a race to the finish line with this one:) But re-reading Mary Hershey's post has been quite timely; it's reminded me to focus on telling the story that needs to be told, to render the magical realm of the Three Towers as authentically and truthfully as I can for my readers to enjoy just like my 'one reader' would. 

I think Elizabeth Gilbert got it right: eat, pray, love... and let the honesty of your voice carry your story to its rightful end. Only then can your story find its destined audience out there, all waiting to lose themselves in a moment of authenticity...

Right now, I can't wait for Mesmer, Book #2 to be out and in the hands of those whom it is meant to inspire, if only because the 'one reader' I've always had in my mind—my sister—would, I know, be inspired by it:)

Ciaos, and happy reading—and writing—to all:)

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