Tuesday, May 19, 2020


When my father lectured university age students, he told me that in his mind he would focus on one student as he talked. This made it possible to impart what general thoughts and wisdom he had while keeping the thread personal.

Keeping a personal narrative is essential to have it be a compelling and emotionally evocative voice. Fiction writers know this is vital to good storytelling.

Who is the reader? I realized long ago that, for me writing for younger readers, the reader is who I was back then at the intended reader’s age.
Only it isn’t really. I see through a lens of my understanding of now. Obviously, this is not the real young me of then, but who I have come to think I was.


The attempt to reach a reader is always an act of faith. You can’t hold it in your hands and verify the path with your eyes. Faith, augmented with hope, is the engine that drives the telling of a fiction story to a fictional reader.

The goal is one—

Saying “hello there,” and hoping to connect with you.


Vijaya said...

Writing itself is an act of faith for me. I always pray that my words will find their way into the hands of readers who need them.

Evelyn said...

A thoughtful post, Mirka. Thank you.

Jenni said...

I also keep someone in mind, usually one of my kids or a student. It helps me to focus my story.

Sherry Ellis said...

It isn't easy to know what the reader will like, but it's always satisfying when you learn that your intended audience enjoys your book.

janlcoates said...

Interesting, as always. I don't think I give much conscious thought to potential readers while writing, especially for novels; instead I'm busy trying to make sure my protagonist gets to tell his/her story honestly. Maybe that sounds weird, but I think it's true, for me anyway. While working with an editor pre-pub, however, there's lots of attention given to potential readers - most recently I had to eliminate any mention of the word "crazy," even as in "crazy good..." Apparently Departments of Education are hyper-sensitive to such "ableist" language these days when choosing books for school use.

Mirka Breen said...

So CRAZY is out? Such a useful word. What is its substitute, I wonder?
Next thing to go maybe any mention of NUTS, even the edible kind, lest anyone disparage irregular thinking in any way and someone somewhere be displeased.
For the record, I love edible nuts. I also chuckle when I recall my mother asking a grocer if he had any nuts. She added, "Beside us."