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!