Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of LA RONDE. Dana King offers his tale of jealousy. Link to come.
In an interesting article last week in the NYT, Michel Cunningham (THE HOURS) addresses several issues about reading/writing. But what struck me most were his thoughts about the relationship writers have with their readers.
He claims a writer should not write for himself, but instead for an ideal reader. In his case, he writes for a woman who once told him that she found CRIME AND PUNISHMENT better than the trashy books she usually read. But not as good as a Scott Turow novel.
She read books to be entertained, and after this insight, Cunningham tried to write books that would matter to her. She was his target audience.
A book written for me would have a mystery of some sort, humor, some psychological underpinning, and sparkling writing. I could name Charles Willeford as a writer who seems to write for me. Margaret Millar. Or the early John Irving. As a writer, (although I hate to call myself that), I don't know who I write for but I need to think about it.
I wonder how many writers mainly write for themselves. Cunningham warns against this, equating it with making an elaborate cake for yourself.
Books and cakes are meant to be digested by others. Write for your reader.
As a reader, what writer seems to write books meant for you? As a writer, who do you write for?