Still going through my archives and finding lots of cool stuff

including this little bit published online in Open Book Toronto some years back:

 

 Q: When you are writing fiction, is there an audience you are thinking of?

 

A: It took me a while to realize why this question made me so uncomfortable. Finally I realized that the problem was that I write for a reader, singular, who is actively making my work come alive in their imagination through a process of engagement, and not an audience, plural, sitting there listening while I perform the work for them. Although I always read my writing out loud to get the rhythms and sounds right and prune any syntactical awkwardness, although I do care hugely that it lend itself to live presentation, there’s really only one reader I’m writing for: highly intelligent, empathetic, curious, witty, and easily bored (though not irritably critical). This reader has impeccable taste, has read widely and with great discrimination, and demands that I revise ruthlessly. I’ve never actually met this reader, but we have a tacit agreement that I will do my best to write something worth reading and they will do their best to provide generous attention.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *