I picked this up from another website.
What if the reader just doesn’t care? That’s a question that haunts writers from age to age. We strive to bring the reader to the point of tears and concern over the story and the character, fussing over every word, every sentence, every period. But how do we get to that point? How do we make them really give a rat’s behind?
My dear Uncle Orson Scott Card http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/2000-08-02-5.shtml showed me how. It’s quite simple, to tell you the truth. All you have to do is care about the story yourself, care about the character and why she is doing what she is doing. Grieve over the consequences with her, let her cry on your shoulder.
“That’s why, when you really love a book, it makes you think about important ideas and issues and fresh and powerful ways. It isn’t because the writer planned it that way. It’s because the writer let his unconscious mind have a lot of chances to control elements of the story. It’s because the writer got out of the way and let the truth of his heart dominate the opinions in his mind. ”
Let your heart rule the story, let your opinions, your dreams, your desires step forward and led the way. Let them be your banner over the story. Don’t worry about the rules, the rules will care for themselves; instead be concern over the why in the novel: why it happened, how it happened, how it effects the character. Do you rejoice with her when she gets her man? Do you rejoice with him when he gets the promotion? Do you grieve over their lost child? How important is the lost child to you, the writer? Is this something that means a lot to you or are you doing this just because it seems right? Or worse, it worked to someone else, why not me? Are you really that fascinated about Haunted houses and ghostly things like Stephen King? Do you grieve over slavery like Talita Tademy? Do you really care about a girl named Ruth like Jane Hamilton did? Do you really care about humanity just as Charles Dickenson cared over the homeless in old England? If not, then why write like them? Why write the same themes over and over? The authors listed above wrote things that stood on their hearts like a rock in a river and refused to budge. It grieved them, fascinated them, even scared them. They breathed these things and they became their banner. In the same way, your writing should become your hill, your cause, your trumpet blast, not someone else’s.
I read on Orson’s BB where someone had a great idea for a story. It struck me, even flamed my own fire:
“I know this response is to an old subject, but I thought I’d mention it, anyway.
JK shared his idea about a priest who is made into a vampire, and the ensuing spiritual turmoil in this man’s life. The fact that he drinks another person’s blood torments him.
It occurred to me that this torment would be exacerbated by the fact that by the 7th century Christians believed, and the Catholic Church affirmed at the Cousel of Trent(1562–63), that in the Eucharist (Communion) the bread and the wine are “transubstantiated”, becoming in fact the actual flesh and blood of Christ.
Can you imagine the conflict raging in this priest’s soul while tryng to administer Holy Communion to his flock? When bringing the chalice of Christ’s blood (from which only the priest drinks)to his lips?”
Talk about caring!! I can see it in the poster’s writing. This is someone who does care about the priest and his dilemma. How heartbreaking to be a shepherd of the flock who believes vampires are of Satan, only to be turned into Satan himself. When he drinks the chalice, he is truly drinking Christ’s blood as well as those of His sheep. Now that would be an interesting book. Even now I care about the good father. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the goal of writing. Make the reader care because I, the writer, care. And if I care, then I’ll relate the facts or shall I say, lies, to you the reader, thus making you care.
So I guess it all starts in the heart, in our beliefs, our standards, our passions. That’s where we begin the care, when we let our passions rule us instead of the rules ruling us.
Happy writing, children!!! 🙂