When Readers Get What We Do

In a Facebook status last week, one author made the comment that it really feels wonderful  “when someone actually gets what you do.”  The comment really resonated with me. While I understand that many people read books simply for the entertainment value (which is absolutely acceptable, in fact it’s wonderful!) some of us gather much more from the story than what lies on the page.  And there are people out there that really get that.

From the very beginning, I’ve known that there is more to the writing of a story than the story itself. I saw it in the short stories I wrote, felt it while I was in the midst of writing. I’m not someone who analyzes the works of others, nor do I analyze my own writing for that matter. Yet while I’m writing, I’m often aware of these underlying meanings that run through-out my writing. It’s not something I consciously set out to do, but something that develops on its own.  I’m sure it’s that way with many other writers as well.

I loved the mother in Bitter, Sweet for her wisdom and understanding about life. The line where she says, “There are all kinds of wisdom in the world, Pru. It’s in everything from a sunrise to a dewdrop. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Complicating things is our own doing. We’re handed life on a platter. It should be so easy.”  Love that line! And no I didn’t purposely set out to write it. Mama came up with that one all one her own. Do I believe it? Darn tootin’ I do.

While Flying With a Broken Wing is a totally different story, Cammie is one of the brightest ten year old I know. She doesn’t come out with any of Mama’s profound wisdom, but you can be sure it’s there.  One thing about Cammie is, she’s not one to sugar-coat things. She just outs with it. “Talking with Evelyn was a lot like picking your nose. You had to do a little digging around, but once you hooked a big booger it would slip out like nobody’s business.” One of my favorite lines from the book, because admit it, we’ve all known people who take a bit of prodding before they finally open up. But rather than wisdom, in Cammie’s case, I call it smarts. Smarts—Cammie would definitely like that!

We all have our own way of seeing the world, and we’re all much wiser than we realize. Often time we don’t express that wisdom, but I believe it’s something we all have. Writers are lucky in that we have an entire blank page at our disposal and we can express to our heart’s content. I’ve always felt that writing was a combination of brain power and heart power. While our brains come up with the premise of the story our hearts lead the way through the telling of it. I’m sure there are many writers out there who would disagree with this, but I can tell you when Cammie came out with that nose-picking line I didn’t have to stop and think about it. She said it. I wrote it. It was a done deal. And I loved it.

I really have to agree with the author’s comment about people getting what we do. One of the greatest rewards for any writer is creating characters and world that others can readily relate to. Not everyone will love our stories, and of course we’d wish that wasn’t so. But there’s a book out there for everyone. We all have such different tastes.

 Yesterday, one person wrote that “I felt so involved, like I was {Cammie’s} best friend.”  For a writer, it doesn’t get much better than that. As an added bonus this week, fellow blogger and writer, Darlene Foster, wrote a wonderful review of my latest book. You can view it here if you haven’t already seen it. Thanks Darlene. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! As an added thought, you might think of letting a writer know when you’ve read and enjoyed their book. It means that all those hours we spend writing and rewriting means something to you, hopefully something good!

This winter I’ve been working at a few projects that I’m really enjoying, and when all is said and done that has to be one of the greatest rewards for a writer. It’s actually one of the greatest rewards period. I feel so fortunate.

There time for you to enter a draw over at Lynn Davidson’s blog for a copy of Shadows in the Stone by Diane Lynn McGyver. Click on the link and leave a comment and you’re entered to win. The draw is Feb 4th at 6:00 pm. Good luck!

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13 Comments

  1. So I came to this post when I wandered over to copy the link for your blog on my own post! Made me smile! Keep writing Laura, you bring us joy and what a gift that is.

    Reply
  2. So glad to hear that your book is making those connections you dream of. Enjoy every one!

    Reply
  3. Thanks for the support, Laura, and for Diane’s book. The draw is actually at 6 PM EST, which will give some of your readers more time to get ‘er done.

    I always seem to be behind Darlene in my reviews, :) but Flying With a Broken Wing is on my TBR (to be reviewed) list.

    For me, even being able to say out loud (where someone could hear me) that I’m a writer is a big nerve-rattling step. It’s not as if I have any books written yet .. or published, I should clarify, as they aren’t past the manuscript-in-the-drawer stage. Refusals put them back in there, determination and gumption will haul them back out. Eventually. Someday.

    I expect it is a thrill to hear someone say good things about your books. When I was writing articles for the newsletter I published it was heartwarming when someone would let me know that something I wrote touched their heart. I hope for the day a book I wrote will have that same chance. The same way your books’ stories have made their way into my life.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Lynn. Darlene is simply fast and wonderful, a real go-getter. I wish I had half of her online energy. :)

      Make sure your “determination and gumption” continues to lead you on your writing journey, Lynn. I’m sure eventually you’ll get those manuscripts out of the drawer and onto some editor’s desk. When the time is right you’ll know it!

      Yes, it is nice to hear from people, nicer still to know your writing made some impression on them— hopefully a positive one. Keep writing, my friend and one day you’ll be able to call yourself a writer, perhaps you’ll even shout it from the rafters!

      Reply
  4. I love your comment, “While our brains come up with the premise of the story our hearts lead the way through the telling of it.” It’s something that only another writer can really understand and an experience that is one of the reasons I love writing fiction. I’m glad to hear the results of your writing are bring you so much satisfaction, too.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Carol. It always feels good to know that we’ve somehow touched a reader in a positive way. Writing is one of those things that take so long to come to fruition. While we write because of that strong need we have to communicate, it always feels good to receive some kind of validation for something we put our heart and soul into.

      Reply
  5. I like the line “writing is a combination of brain power and heart power.”. So very true. When asked the inevitable question,why do you write, I think most writers would say, to create characters and situations readers can relate to. I’m so pleased that you are getting the rewards of your hard work by hearing people say they get it. Thanks for the shout out. I do love your books.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Darlene! I’m glad you liked that line. :) Thank you so much for being so wonderfully supportive to other authors.

      Reply
  1. Flying With a Broken Wing | Crowing Crone Joss

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