1. ABCJohn
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    ABCJohn New Member

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    Who do you write for???

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ABCJohn, Mar 14, 2015.

    I have been discussing writing with some friends of mine and we seem split on the issue of who we write for. We all agree that writing needs to be in some part for the audience, but how much? In a speech, an author I admire talks about how writing should be a gift for the audience (without pandering) and how once he releases a book, it is no longer his - it belongs to the people. He doesn't feel a right to answers questions about what happens between the scenes or clarify unless the audience makes an error in judging his intention when writing. He says that writing is like a template for the readers' imaginations, that writing for yourself will make your work poor.

    Now, he is a favorite of mine, but some of I friends and I disagree. I understand how fandom works and wanting to give an audience that feeling of ownership, but it's my story, too. I want to write things that I think are cool are smart, regardless of whether or not everyone will like it. I want to answer questions about what went on behind the scenes with my characters - I feel like I should have the authority to do so. Yes, I want the audience to have a good time reading it and go to great lengths to make it entertaining, sure. But at the core, I write for me, because it's something I have to do. Because I'll go crazy and my head will burst if I don't. I can't let my head get overwhelmed with ideas, and I refuse to forget them either. Therefore, I write.

    Writing for me started out as a way to record my dreams. I often go into detail and leave little little up to the imagination - it's a force of habit. I shy away from the vague 'template' approach and the idea that a good story, character, or location might be seen differently in the eyes of different readers. I want people to see what I saw in my head. I write both to record what I imagine, and to share it. And I don't believe that will necessarily make the writing bad.

    So what do you think? Should you just write what you want and not care what people think? Should you make your writing a gift for the audience? Or should you specifically write about what you think the audience wants to read? Where is the balance?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For whom do I write? For me. I am the only person whom I can know beyond all shadow of doubt. All else is theory and supposition.
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's just a different philosophy to "why" someone writes. There's no right or wrong. As long as you're happy, you can finish what you started, and it's actually good and people read it, who on earth cares how you do it, really? :)

    Write for yourself, write for your audience. Do whatever works for you and gives you the most joy. If you're writing, finishing, and people are reading and enjoying it, then it doesn't matter what anyone else says.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It depends on the project. If I'm going with genre or something that's classified by where it sits on the book shelves - horror, children's books, YA etc. then I know I have certain standards that I have to fulfill. I have to write with an audience in mind because I have very clear cut competition.

    But I like to write upscale genre more literary styled fiction - the competition is less clear cut and their is more room for flexibility. Then I'm less conscious of format, hitting key spots, and creating high sell characters. I'm more focused on the clarity of my prose and themes. Sometimes I think it also alters what you want the main connection with the reader to be. It shifts from will it sell, will they like it? to, will it live up to it's initial idea, will the readers get it?

    Write for whatever pleases you, whatever you're interested in. There's no say that those who write with an audience in mind aren't writing for themselves and are just as pleased with their work as Hemmingway. Do what you think is best for you.
     
  5. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    I write primarily for me because I enjoy the craft. If other people like it and enjoy it that's a bonus. If people I respect tell me it's good and they enjoyed that's one hell of a boost to my self confidence. I would rather three people I respect enjoy it than a whole fan base. No denying I would like to make money from my writing but that doesn't change the reasons why I write.
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    For me, first, and to change the world, second. :agreed: ;)
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write for my audience.

    That said, my audience isn't "all readers". It isn't even "all romance readers". I can't stand over-the-top alpha heroes, so I won't write them, so my audience is readers who don't want to read alphaholes. I can't stand too-stupid-to-live characters, so I won't write them, so my audience is readers who don't want to read TSTL characters. There's a sort of balancing going on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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  8. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    I haven't got a clue.

    I'm still learning how to take an idea and bring it full circle into a short story. All my energy goes into this as of now.
     
  9. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write to solve the puzzles in my head. To form the stories I want to see and to connect with the one consent in my life.
     
  10. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I write for both. I write stories that I find enjoyable and hope others do, too. I do, however, think of what others would find interesting. For example, since I already know the outcome, I need to make sure it's revealed in a way that's the most stimulating for someone who doesn't.
     
  11. Dunning Kruger
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    Dunning Kruger Active Member

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    I write for me but I try to do so in a way that interests a potential audience.
     
  12. MattyDean
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    MattyDean Active Member

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    I tend to agree with the author you mentioned, pretty wholeheartedly. I mean, you are a reader of your own work, too, and as such it can be personal. But I don't like answering "Why?" this and "What happened to...?" that. Like Tarantino, I like my audience (if I have one) to come to their own conclusions about things.
    If I'm asked an opinion on something, though, I feel free to respond, because it's how I interpreted my piece. But once I breathe life into something, which is what I hope I do, I like to let them live on their own and interact with my audience independent of me.

    The why I write question is more, "Because I have to", which almost sounds more like "I write for myself", but I don't think that's the case. The act is for me, the result is for you.
    But hell, I say with all art, do you own thing.
     
  13. Carlos Danger
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    Carlos Danger Member

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    I like to write because it's something I feel I'm reasonably good at. I like finishing stuff. A finished product feels like I've really created something that I can call my own. That's a nice feeling.

    I also like writing because it prompts me to do research and learn about topics I might not have otherwise. I think stories can almost act like a form of travelling, bringing you to new places.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write to communicate. So the motivation is for my benefit, but I need someone to listen, so I have to think of the listener as well.
     
  15. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I write for me. I don't care about what other people want, and I don't care about genres or themes. If I've got a story to tell then I'll tell it in a way that appeals to me and that I find enjoyable. Whether or not it fits into one genre or the other is something that can be determined later, if we absolutely have to categorise everything.

    Currently I am my audience, though, so I suppose I write just as much for me as I do for my audience. ;)
     
  16. MattyDean
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    MattyDean Active Member

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    This. The feeling of a finished product you're proud enough to tag your name to. It's hard to describe to anyone unless they create themselves or have had a kid or embarked on some sort of large project.

    Also, your avatar makes me miss Anthony Weiner. No joke, that dude had more balls than any other progressive senator. Unfortunately, he had too much balls for his own good in the end.
     
  17. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    She isn't born yet. I'm going the J.D Salinger route.
     
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  18. MattyDean
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    MattyDean Active Member

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    Coolest answer so far. The bar is set, folks! =-P
     
  19. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write for other people as much as I write for myself. They are both integral to my motivation for writing. If I was the only person in the World I would do something else.

    My goal is expressing my ideas in a way that will entertain many and inspire a deserving few.
     

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