Yesterdays thoughts lead me to something we don’t always think about, and yet when we do we are always astounded all over again, and that is this:
I think that as writers we really need to remember this simple, and yet profoundly complex idea! It gives us a power. When people read our words and they have strong reactions, in any way, it just goes to prove that power all over again.
Along with that I believe there comes a certain responsibility. We have this great ability to create a reaction, a feeling, a thought, in others and we should use that. That is where the responsibility comes in. How we provoke people, the emotions we stir, I think that matters. As a reader, I know that when my emotions have been evoked, I want something out of it by the end of the book, article, ect that I am reading.
I think along with all of this is where some of that “writing for the audience” comes into play. While I don’t believe that anyone should just write for the audience, I think their thoughts and feelings should be kept in mind.
What do you think? Please, share your thoughts and feelings on this subject! Do you think there is truly a power in words? Do you think we, as writers have a responsibility to use that power? If we should use it, how should we use it?
11 thoughts on “The Power in Words”
I think it’s a challenging balance, to simultaneously reach out to our ideal reader while holding true to our own selves and voice. I do know that audience-chasing is the most certain path to mediocrity, and who aspires to that?
ideal readers… ahhh… I wish I knew them!!! *grins* yeah, I think that balance is very challenging indeed, but I find it rather easy to hold true to my own self and voice, prolly because the readers usually come as an after thought to me, I just have really been trying harder to look at things through a different lens this year. Thus far it has been an interesting journey!
If it happens, awesome. If not… you will have grown in the process. Some immensely successful authors only really have one voice, which is obviously them. I’m afraid I’ll forever be trapped in that category along with Simon R. Green, Stephen Lawhead, and David Weber. BUT maybe you’ll find that other people’s lenses fit, and you can become one of the real gifted (jealousy jealousy) types who can get into everyone’s head and make them shine (Lois McMaster Bujold).
Yeah I like that idea *grins* voice… hmmm I really think I need to look at that as a topic… really explore the idea.
I did that with scenes and it shaped my writing in a whole new way, giving me new understanding. Then I did that with outlining (not that I really outline, I like to just build a little framework, *grins*) and that helped me write all the way through my stories instead of getting stuck along the way. Yup, the more I think about it, the more I think it is time to explore voice!
Amazing thoughts and ideas, thanks so much!!!
I didn’t notice the word count on your blog! That’s a great tool! I’m a little jealous!
Also, re the “ideal reader” thing, I took a page out of Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut’s books. I basically tell each story to one person, then edit it for the world. The person I’m telling the story to has to be someone I know well and care about, and I get the motivation to keep writing to entertain and please them.
I have never been able to tell “anybody” a story.
Ah, but re-reading your post did remind me that the Ideal Reader is a nice balance. When we write for people we love, we are writing for people who reflect our own heart and values, so it is a magnification of as opposed to a departure from our own voice, I think.
yeah I seen them on another persons blog and loved it, you have to do it manually, but it is super easy, it can be found here http://www.critiquecircle.com/wordmeterbuilder.asp
I also tried writing to one person, but that just doesn’t work for me. I honestly write for myself. The people around me are not really into reading all that much, and the ones that are big readers, well they just read and say “I love it” soooo not helpful, lmao
Those antique books–love them! It sounds like you are a crafty person, and a wordsmith too! Thank you for the “follow”!
Thanks, I love me some photoshop, hehehe and you are welcome, I love following interesting blogs! (one never has enough to read!)
I think that there isn’t an audience that we can absolutely search for. Good writing will find an audience, even if it’s not a prolific one. Writing mass sellers doesn’t equate to good writing or respect. In fact, I often find the NY Best Sellers list an efficient place to find books that I might be the “audience” for. In that sense, I think you have to write the story that feels right for you and understand that it’ll find it’s audience, because ultimately, you have to be the audience. These have to be the stories you’d want to read and tell, otherwise, there’s no point.
Yes, good writing will find an audience I totally have to agree with you there. And I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on mass sellers not equating to good writing!!!
I like the concept of writing the story that feels right and believing that it will find its audience. Being your own audience, more great ideas!
I strongly believe that you have to write the stories that you want to read, want to tell! Why write if you aren’t writing the stories you feel, deep down.
Thanks so much for the wonderful thoughts and ideas!