(I’m going to be on vacation until next Thursday, so I am posting now before we leave. See you after a few days of tent and hot dog life.)
First, I won’t give away any spoilers, but let me just say that HP7P2 was fantastic! Everything I could have hoped for and more. Not only was it a great film adaptation, but it made me want to go back and read book 7 again, just to re-experience some things. I’m also curious if the movie actually didn’t a better job of clarifying a few points. This is one I will absolutely see in theaters again. And can I also say what a kick I get out of midnight showings? It reminds me of how we used to go out at midnight to buy the new HP book as a family and then spend the next four or five days reading together every spare minute. Good times!
Second, maybe it’s just me, but I laughed my head off at this article on the most awkward place editors and agents have received pitches. The hotel one would have completely freaked me out!
And now with appetizers and salad out of the way, let’s jump to the main course. (Can you tell it’s lunch time, and I have food on the brain?)
Today I thought I’d tackle a question that gets brought up at a lot of author panels. Who do you write for, yourself or your readers?
I’d love to be able to say that I lock myself in a dark office (but not too dark or I couldn’t see the keyboard) and write purely for myself. It sounds so cool. So noble. And I absolutely believe that lots of people do write for themselves. I’m just not one of them.
When I write, it’s all about the readers. If I write a funny scene, I’m thinking about how it will make them laugh. When I write action scenes, I’m intentionally trying to elicit an “Oh my gosh!” or two. When I reach the aha moment, it’s all about having the reader put down the book just before the big reveal and go, “Aha, I know who did it.”
As a kid, I used to tell stories. Have you ever seen the movie, “Stand by Me,” where a group of boys goes in search of a the body of a missing boy? Remember the scene where the main character tells the story about the pie eating contest while the boys are sitting around the campfire?
That was totally me. Except the stories I made up were usually action adventure—albeit often kind of silly adventures with titles like, “Captain Weenie and the Little Purple Man.”
The whole goal of my stories was to keep the audience amazed and glued to the story. When I got done, the best thing I could hear was, “Tell us another one!”
That’s still how I feel about writing. I could write without getting paid for it. I could write without getting published. I could write even if my sole readership was a half dozen friends. But I would have a really, really hard time writing if I was the only person who would ever read my story.
How about you? Who do you write for?