Engaging

I’m no good at distilling lessons, so I appreciate people who can be succinct. Last weekend, at a Litquake event called “The Art of Short Fiction,” Thaisa Frank reminded the audience that the meaning of a work of fiction is not determined entirely by the author, because “the reader is co-creating the story.”

Readers’ sense of involvement is why stories in written form remain so popular as entertainment. Reading a story is more like computer gameplay than we care to acknowledge.

2 thoughts on “Engaging

  1. Elaine Marolakos Edelson

    We most definitely need the reader to engage our stories or what’s the point? I once saw Bette Middler on some show (before I was menopausal and could remember things) and she walked by a man trying to play a piano but couldn’t. She said, “The piano has 88 keys. This schmuck knows nine. What’s the point?”

    Readers get involved and need to. It’s a cooperation, a communion. We feed and nurture one another. Plus…it’s what makes us better writers.

    Thanks for the post! Have a sparkly day.

  2. Robin Mizell Post author

    Hi, EME:

    Given the piano scenario, is the writer similar to the piano player?

    It’s good to know that some writers want to make connections with readers. Not all writers believe it’s worth the effort, which can be considerable when the process makes the writer uneasy.

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