Whenever I open up a new book I pay attention to those first pages. There is always one page where several names are scrawled. The page usually begins with “For…”
I always wonder who these people are to the author. Sometimes it’s obvious: the author’s child, spouse, parent. Other times the list is a tease, a mystery.
People are driven to write for various reasons. Most of us write for ourselves first, but who keeps you going when the writing is not pleasure? My ego, curiosity, or the excitement of a new idea, is not enough to sustain me through the length of a novel.
When I write, I have an ideal reader always at the back of my mind. My ideal reader, is not one person, but a combination of people that I know. I always try to think of ways to surprise him (or her), to think of what twists of the plot will wrench him in the gut, to add in the kind of action will get his blood racing, or how I can bring in ideas he hasn’t already thought of yet.
My hope is to entertain, to make my ideal reader feel, and maybe one day I’ll get good enough at this to show him something about himself, or to allow him to discover something about life that we can laugh or cry about together.
“We write to discover our true lovers” as Ray Bradbury put it. That is what fuels me.
You might be my ideal reader. You might be why I’m pursuing publication, why writing is worth all the work, and why I want to put my writing out into the world. Everything I write might be for you.
Who re-ignites your imagination? Who do you write your stories for? Is it someone you know? Do you write just for yourself?