Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why do you read?

Why do you ~read~? How does that apply to writing? And if you don't understand why you read, how the hell are you going to understand why you write!

Collectively, writers say they write, "... because I must."

Collectively, readers say they read, "... to escape."

I have no idea what those mean. I've said both, sure, so have you, but I invested some mental capital into the topic and came up with this:

I ~write~ because I want to be heard. I want to connect with and capture an audience.

I ~read~ because I want to be captured. I want to sit with an author and listen to a voice I'll never hear, meet a person I'll never know.

There's no must in wanting to be heard. There's damned sure no escape in wanting to be captured.

It's a speak-listen relationship between the author and reader. I want to speak, they want to listen. I want to listen, they want to speak.

Simple, really, when you think about it.

Why do you read? Does your writing style serve the purpose you, as a reader, would demand of an author?

- Eric

12 comments:

Crimey said...

I'm going to simplify my answer: I read because I like to be entertained, to be taken to new worlds, to dive into the minds of the characters, imagine a little of myself in the hero, etc. But I don't read to escape. I don't quite no what that means either.

"Does your writing style serve the purpose you, as a reader, would demand of an author?" I can only hope that it does. That's a harder question to answer.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I read to experience things I would normally not have the guts or opportunity to do in real life.

I write for the same reason and with the same craving for something outside my realm of reality. I'm not even in the room with my typing hands when I'm in te writing zone...I'm in the head and space of the characters...its addicting and a rush.

If as a writer I can pull someone with me into that amazing experience then yeah, my writing style does the job.

Olivia J. Herrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hear ye, hear ye, Eric Trant doth speak:

"I ~write~ because I want to be heard. I want to connect with and capture an audience.

I ~read~ because I want to be captured. I want to sit with an author and listen to a voice I'll never hear, meet a person I'll never know."

Quoth the Worm Man, evermore.

I would add one more, "I write because I've been given something to say and a way to say it." And that thrills my heart.

Great post, that rebel, Olivia

Falen (Sarah) said...

i read pretty exclusively in the genres i write. Mostly because that's what i like.

Donna Hole said...

If I "must" do anything, its read. I wouldn't exactly say I read to escape, but I do escape boredom in that way. Reading is a passion, an obsession I'm not ashamed to cop to and don't expect to recover from. Everything I read is read for a different reason, but I can agree on the overall "to be captured" reasoning.

My reasons for writing are pretty much the same. I have a story to tell, and I want people to hear (read) it. It is as satisfying to create a world and characters as it is to read some other author's world view. While I'm writing, I get to play God. Its fun and exciting.

I like the way you presented these questions Eric. You bring concepts to light in such a unique way.

......dhole

Mary McDonald said...

I read because I want to put the stories in my head. I write to get them out.

Charity Bradford said...

Ditto to Crimey and Rachelle. I read to experience things I normally wouldn't. Get to be the hero, be rescued, find I'm stronger than I thought, whatever. Entertainment is my main reason for reading. If I'm bored, I'm done.

My goal is to share the worlds in my head with others by telling a great story. Quick paced, full of emotion and action. Because that's what I read. I don't think you can separate the two.

Eric W. Trant said...

Thanks all for commenting. Gads, what a week this has been!

I think I need to do some reading just to escape... or be captured. Whatever the case.

Think I'll head off into the woods instead. Gotta love a blasphemously hot backpacking trip, eh.

- Eric

Theresa Milstein said...

Capture/be captured. Speak/listen. You capture the differences between and writing very well.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I used to read solely for escape into the stories. Now, I also read to learn how that author made my escape possible.

Phoenix said...

I think I read because I am obsessed with stories, characters, and adventure. I love slipping into someone else's world for a little while and feeling completely engaged and attached to how the story ends for him or her.

It's such a treat to read other people's stories...