A Reader's Perspective, by Taylor Novak-Bultema
Imagine you have this great idea for a book, blog, short story, etc. Once your tea is made and light music is playing in the background, you sit down and stare at your screen. Momentarily, you sit with your eyes closed and you begin to feel your surroundings. You drift as the steam of the tea caresses your face. Slowly you drift further as the music releases your body and mind from each other. You begin typing. Each word is placed exactly where it belongs on the page. Each word belongs in a specific sentence, that completes a specific paragraph and all compliment the entire story. You are left a useless carcass as your body drains every emotion out through your fingers.
After countless hours, you slowly comeback from your outer body release. You have finished dancing on the page as one letter after another is laid to bed. As you being the tedious editing process, a very real emotion reminds you of its existence. Anxiety. You have realized that a simple sentence you wrote does not explain the situation in its entirety. Without proper explanation, these are just words displayed in front of you.
As a writer, you must be confident that you are able to paint a picture in the imagination of each and every reader. If four different people read “When she walked into the room she was surprised”, will each of them see the same expression on her imaginary face? Will they all feel the same form of surprise as she is meant to?
This specific statement is explaining the surprise your character is feeling. If not explained properly, your readers will not know if the character is startled, confused, amazed or excited. Each word means surprised. However, each means something completely different. They are the black and white that makes up the grey of surprise. Furthermore, is this character confused due to disillusion or perplexed? Are they excited because they are energetic or eager?
The placement and use of these words can make completely different statements. “When she walked into the room she was surprised”. Simple enough, but what does that mean? What would happen if I replaced one word in that sentence, that knowingly have the same definition?
“When she walked into the room she was excited”.
Well, that changes everything completely. At this moment, our psyche’s Monet substitutes the previous “surprised” expression with one of excitement. Before we saw her as scared or frightened, now as I introduce her back into my imagination I see her clearly, as she was meant to be.
As a reader, rather than writer, I want my Monet to paint one picture and claim that as the author’s masterpiece. Direct me. Lead me to your climatic segments with excitement. Your words need to make love to my imagination and leave me with a feeling of completion. Fully explain the meaning of each sentence. I want to follow your vision as though I am looking through your eyes, feeling through your soul and breathing your excitement. This is the only way I can truly appreciate the adventure you and I will be taking together….