A - Z Writer's Toolbox: Entertainment




A to Z Disclaimer:

Like all craftspeople, writers need to keep a bag of tricks handy.  A set of tools for the job m (writing), if you will.  Some of these traits or tools are obvious--like the need to have a hide as thick as a brick, for instance.  Some are not.  This month, I've been challenged to do a post every day of the week (excluding Sunday) that begins with a letter of the alphabet.  I'm going to use this challenge to examine some of those necessary writing tools, both conventional and not.  Hold on to your #2 pencil, here we go!

NOTE: I've added a page dedicated to my A to Z Writer's Toolbox posts.  I figured I'd soon have a bunch of these things and it'll make it easier for you to browse any of the letters you might have missed.  You can find a link to the page under the, "MORE STUFF" heading at the top of the right-hand column of this page. 


E is for entertainment


Sometimes when I'm writing I forget all about the audience.  There, I said it.  Chastise away.  *holds out wrist for slapping*


I know, I know.  In the Writing Bible commandment # 8 very clearly states, "Thou shalt always know thine audience and never forsake them."  (Or something like that ...)  Still, sometimes I get so swept up in telling myself the story that I completely forget that I'm writing (at least partially) for the sake of sharing.  Sometimes I forget that what makes me giggle--yes, I giggle--, grit my teeth in anger or shed a tear doesn't always resonate with other folks.  In short, I forget that I'm an entertainer.


Now I know that there are literary purist (I'll refrain from calling it snobbery) that could care less about the reader's enjoyment.  However, I'd argue that unless you're writing a journal or some other type of writing that is "for your eyes only", the audience needs to be considered.  This is particularly true for writing that comes with a price tag.  The way I see it, if you're charging it becomes a show, and you'd better entertain the folks who bought a ticket.


In a strange way, I think it's kind of liberating to think of myself as an entertainer.  It makes me take chances with my writing.  It pushes me to try to conjure the word that will make the reader gasp, or to compose the sentence that will make the reader push to the next chapter even though it's two hours past their bedtime.  


So today I'm telling you to roll out the red carpet, flip on the spotlights and crank up the spectacle.  Give your readers something they'll never forget, and make your story the ride of a lifetime!







~EJW~

23 comments:

  1. :0) Right on! I often forget this aspect of writing, and that is suicidal!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi EJ! Long time! Great post. Entertainment is definitely the key!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I almost wrote about the entertainment aspect of writing today too, because it is an important thing to keep in mind. I think, though, that I tend to write my first drafts solely for myself in order to feel free to put down whatever I want. It's a little later in the process that audience consideration comes into play for me -- sometime during early revisions. Good post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes one of the many things that we have to keep in mind. But I see your point. Sometimes we get so caught up in writing - and I know I want to like it - that we forget others need to as well!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not entertaining the reader may very well be the greatest mistake a writer can ever make.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know Stephen King had a quote about writing to your readers in On Writing, but I can't find it right now. I agree with you, but like LG mentioned above, the first draft is for me. The revision is for the reader in my process.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You hit the nail on the head with this one!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello! Entertainment is definitely important when it comes to writing.

    I tend to first write for myself, but I definitely keep my reader in mind when I write, because I know that I know what's going on, but will someone I've never met?

    Nice post! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, this is what is wrong with writers today. We've all become convinced that we're artists and forgotten that we're actually entertainers. We call ourselves "writers" instead of "storytellers" which is what we should be. The written word and the book are just a medium. The story and the audience are what matter.

    ReplyDelete
  11. E is for entertaining and that you are. I like your style of writing--laid back yet informative. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And I thought I was the only weirdo out there that wrote soemtimes to entertain myself. But my critters let me know the deal and change it up to entertain others, too. Have to let them in on the secrets, you know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Billy Joel, you're the American Elton John (without the cheesiness or tinted pink sunglasses), and I love you so. Okay, maybe a little cheesiness (case in point...the "We didn't start the fire" video...). Thanks EJ :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think when I'm doing the actual writing, I don't much consider the audience. Although, this one time (not at band camp), I did write a big twist and my first thought was "my [beta] readers are going to flip." So maybe, in the back of my mind, I am aware. But just maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The entertainer: easiest song to ever play on the piano (aside from chopsticks) but not so easy on guitar.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is so true. I love reading books that are entertaining. If a book doesn't grab my imagination it is too easy for me to put it aside in favor of one that does.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good post! We've always got to keep this in mind... keep the readers entertained, lest they go to that glitzy writer next door....

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love how you put it, that it's liberating to look at it this way - makes you take chances! Great post. Now I have to catch up with A-D. This is good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love Billy Joel's song, and this post is a great reminder of what we should be doing with our writing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great job showing both sides of a writer's coin, storytelling and entertaining -- not always the same thing.

    This is my first visit to your blog. Looking forward to following!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good post. Finishing is crucial and is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hey, a Billy Joel song I haven't heard! I think part of the writing equation is connecting with the audience, so it only makes sense that you have to take them into consideration while writing.

    ReplyDelete

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.