Saturday, February 03, 2007

Engage me

I've had a couple of posts from the Write Here programme which I signed up for in January. Today's post exhorts the writer to engage the reader. As a reader, I want to be grabbed by the writing from the outset. In the first place, I'm likely to have picked up the book because the subject matter interests me, but the writer has to be focused to keep hold of me.

Today's author is Janice Galloway, and she says this about engaging a reader:

It’s your job, as a writer, to engage. Clasp each new traveller firmly enough by the hand to inspire trust that whatever might happen next, you can be relied upon to get them to the other side.

I'll go with that, but what I mean by focus is what she says a little later on:

Know who is telling this story. Is a disembodied voice from the future or past? A child or an adult? A main character or a minor one? Someone who hates or loves the protagonists? Who?

Know where the story happens. Is it inside one mind? Conjectured? In a specific room, city or place in time? From the end of the story or the middle or - or where?

Know how it must be told. Is the atmosphere dark or light? Reticent or bold? Through a veil of jokes, lies or desperate searching for the truth? Poetically or playground obscene? How?

I think I struggle most with knowing how it must be told, particularly with Kingslayer. I'm slowly edging toward telling it very boldly (I think the story needs it) though it's in my nature to be reticent. Throw caution to the wind - not ruddy likely :-) And yet what do I have to lose? Nowt.

It's good stuff, this Write Here, Write Now business, so I'm looking forward to the next post on Monday, though it's called: Romance - for ladies or laddies?


At 6:07 pm GMT, Blogger Olga said...

Those are some important question, and a great advice!


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