a page out of one writer's notebook
This surprises me. I would've thought the reader needed to hear the characters' heartbeats. That would be my goal.
I think in terms of feelings (like the heartbeats, I guess) and sensory responses. When a certain piece of music moves me, I think, "I'd like to write something that makes people feel like that." Same thing happens if I see something beautiful.
I think in terms of hope. I write hope into my books and want my readers to fill with it.
I am enjoying this discussion--thanks to all :-)Cathy, "the reader needs to hear the character's heartbeat"--important point. It reminds me that another way to say this is 'why care'? Why does the writer care about what they are writing? Why does the character care--that makes for the story. And why should the reader care? Goes full circle back to the writer--make them care. Thanks for the comment that prompted this line of thinking :-)Peggy, you've hit on another analogy that fits here. Heartbeats is certainly another word for feelings, and feelings is what we want to hook our readers with, touch their hearts in some way. Love it...Barbara, love that you add hope to the equation. We've got a good thing going here--heart, heartbeats, feelings, hope :-)Now to put this all in action. Thanks for the inspiration, everyone...
I like Peggy's answer and the comparison to music. How certain sounds can make you feel a certain way without there necessarily being a distinct reason for it. I very much still feel like I'm learning to tell stories in novel form, so I think my goal is just to get better at closing that gap between having a story idea in my head and getting down on paper in a way that matches.
Jess--"closing the gap" between the idea and capturing it on paper? A goal we can all relate to :-) Thanks for sharing...
I like this quote! I'd have to give this question more thought, but one of my goals is for readers to come away with something useful. I want to answer the question, "So what?" What does the reader have to carry away with them - does it touch them, instruct or uplift, entertain, equip, etc. Something good to ponder, thank you! :)
Karen, thanks back to you :-) You've touched on one of the most rewarding goals of a writer--that of how powerful the words of a writer can be in a good way to the reader. Appreciate your thoughts. Another great point to the discussion!
Well put! You have to have passion for your characters and their stories--and that passion will translate to the reader.
We continue to collect some great words here :-) Thanks, Stephanie, for adding another key one--passion. Why else would we expect our readers to turn the pages if we have trouble connecting with our characters and stories ourselves? Not only that, but writers by nature are passionate about what they do--just step back at a writer's conference and soak in the buzz. We love to talk about our work to each other, don't we?