If you played along all week, you know that I was riffing on the age old conundrum of boy meets girl, loses her, and then gets her back again. I took that little sliver of time between loss and retrieval and I tried to get into the mindset, sort of, of the guy.

So the first thing I was trying to point out is: There are multiple ways to tell the exact same story. Our stories don’t really change- but the way they are written does.

I did learn a hard lesson though. Word choice is extremely important, When I titled my pieces I used the word “part” when I should have used “version”. To some, this might not mean much, but it was enough of a mistake to confuse many a reader. If writers don’t use the right words, the reader can’t figure out what the piece is about.

Splat- Part 1 https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/10/04/and-now-for-something-completely-different/

  1. Does the description of the chair add to the story or take away?
  2. Repetitive use of the word splat- I know one reader thought this took her out, but another reader liked it. This is a style choice. Does the repetition give you a feeling of the type of story or character?
  3. Were you upset that you only learned his height? Did you want to know what he looked like?
  4. What guesses did you make about the man? I know one person thought him a narcissist…

Scotchhttps://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/10/05/and-now-for-something-completely-different-part-2/

  1. What did using alcohol as a way to describe moods say about this character?
  2. Would you have preferred brand names- like, if I said Miller High Life, would it have been different in your mind than me saying Guinness?
  3. What guesses did you make about this person?

Texthttps://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/10/06/and-now-for-something-completely-different-part-3/

  1. Did doing this is text format make you think this person was of a certain age?
  2. If it did remind you of someone younger, do you feel it is an age thing or a generation thing? Will everyone be speaking like this is twenty years?

Omniscient (was this really omniscient? 2nd person?)https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/10/07/and-now-for-something-completely-different-part-four/

  1. Was this style of story telling too impersonal for this type of story?

As I gave you very little, how much of your own imagination came into play when you read the snippets? How much does the reader bring to a story versus what a writer brings to a story? After reading the scotch one, a reader wondered why the guy thought of alcohol first when he was considering a solution, and if there was a greater issue there. I admit, I hadn’t thought of that when I was writing the piece. I knew I was doing first person and I was trying to be clever and different than the chair piece. But if this was a work in progress, I might make alcohol a bigger issue. But I guess my question is, are all details relevant in a story, or are some things just flavor?

How carefully does an author choose details? Is the mark of how good an author is determined by which details they choose and how they are presented?

What assumptions did you make when reading the different pieces?

Age?

Physical appearance?

Education?

Job?

Socio economic status?

Why?

What type of book do you think these would be in? Rom com? Literary fiction? Women’s fiction?

I guess I want to know, as a reader, what you garnered from what was written this past week. I wrote a blog a few months ago about writing for readers versus writing for writers, and based on the comments of that post, I was inspired try this experiment this week. I’m trying to figure out what a readers expectations are… This is where my analyst side tries to interfere with my literary side…. trying to quantify the steps of reading and writing. Thank you for playing along with me!!

How do we read what writers write?

Comment on anything that you want!! I’m listening and learning!!

38 thoughts on “The Conclusion

  1. If a writer wants to be successful do they always write to suit a specific audience even if it feels off to them? Can they do that without lots of self-learning (writing courses, etc) or will it come naturally? I told you yesterday that I know what I like as a reader, but as a writer… could I accomplish that in any real or profitable way? Academic writing is easy for me. Fiction and storytelling…there’s a gift involved with that/ and a lot of hard work. I do have one suggestion: if you are an American Horror Story fan there’s a nifty little pill that will help you figure all this out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know I’m always trying to analyze everything…especially things with no answers…someone commented the other day that these posts weren’t “fun”. As a blogger, is everything I write supposed to be fun (and I mean this more generically, )like you stated…to we write to a specific audience, or do we write what’s true to us? Expect more on this thought in late January after I’ve completely overthought it

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As a writer, I believe it is important to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones as it can only improve our skills. I believe as a reader you were successful in each piece.
    I imagined your character as a preppy mid twenties graduate just entering into a management position…
    His ego has caused him relationship issues…
    😆 🤣 😂 I’m not sure …is that what you were going for?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m all for intellectual challenges, and while I have things I’m comfortable doing, I don’t shy away from experimenting when it comes to writing. I will say that as I was writing I pictured a middle age, middle class, educated,divorced but after a long marriage protagonist. The thought in my mind was guy unsure if he wants to get involved in a relationship but truly likes the woman he was dating

      Like

  3. As an author, I liked that you tried different genre’s of writing. I feel we need to go beyond out comfort zones in order to improve our style.
    As a reader, I enjoyed all of your pieces and found them to be successful.
    I imagined your character as a preppy mid-twenties business graduate who has entered into a management position.
    His ego has given him relationship problems as he struggles to adjust to adult responsibilities.
    😆 🤣 😂 I’m not sure…is this what you were going for?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I always wonder why authors choose certain styles…I think there’s a difference between writing style and a writers voice, if that makes sense. I did picture a middle aged, middle class, divorced from a long marriage and unsure about embarking in another relationship. It’s interesting how you saw it vs what was in my mind. Which does lead me to wonder how much a reader brings to a story…how much what’s on the page matters to them

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the part/version wording confused me too. I’ve been busy typing this week so haven’t played along and therefore haven’t seen the comments either but when I read the part about someone saying that it “wasn’t fun” I had to go back and read them – LOL. Which version did you like writing more? I could totally see the texting aspect for almost any age at this point. A text is so much easier to send than a phone call is to make, especially to break the ice in a difficult situation. I think the alcohol makes him sound older. Younger generation might use weed. Interesting experiment, LA.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I went back through the posts, and I would say the guy is at least middle aged, based on the description of the sofa as having “welcoming back support” — and how he distinguished scotch versus beer. I didn’t make any assumptions about his appearance or job or economic status. Ideas about those might’ve come from additional passages of the story. About your question of details: I think they can add flavor to a story, to help set a scene through senses. All details don’t have to be relevant to the plot. For example, if you added the smell of fresh-cut grass coming through an opened window — that would’ve given me a sharper idea of the scene for it to show in my head. But that aroma didn’t have to do with the plot. That was a neat project 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was middle aged in my mind, with the little bit of profile I allowed myself. I always wonder how much we need to give a reader so that they’re invested in the character..and which hunts do we let them envision without hints. And how subtle can we be

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed all versions this week and looked forward to reading them. I pictured the characters in their early 30s, perhaps because so many books have characters that age. Playing with POV shows how different perspectives can be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I liked switching around the style, though I will admit when I would sit at the computer I’d freeze a little when thinking about what a different style actually looked like…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. When I see a movie or read a book, it takes a while for me to think about it and come to conclusions. I wouldn’t analyze things as much as you do. Your experiment was interesting and enjoyable. I thought the fellow was in his late twenties and only beginning to understand how important his relationship with his girlfriend was.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done!
    I think details can be very important, but I think some can also just be for flavor but you don’t want to overdo the flavor. I think there is a fine line between going into too much detail or not enough. One thing I am always questioning when I write, and I am finding that I question it more with working on a novel, for in a short, short story, I can’t give too much details about everything or I will be still describing the main character and halfway through the story before anything happens to them.

    I thought the character was middle aged and I didn’t mind that I didn’t know everything about him.

    “How do we read what writers write?” Still thinking on that one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to like less detail when I read, however, I understand readers want detail. So what is the proper line? Do you need to know exactly what someone looks like, everything in the room? And really…what is show don’t tell, and how do some writers manage to do it effortlessly? What’s that special sauce of making a reader care about a character? How does the author get the reader to root for my make character to get the woman back? Or what makes them want the woman to tun far and run fast?

      Like

      1. Great questions as always!
        No, I don’t think you always need to know what someone looks like. I think it really depends on the role of the characte, as to how much you describe.them.

        “She was scared vs. she trembled all over, her heart pounding out of her chest!” Is a simple example and it can be complicated at times to know . I don’t think that we never can tell, I think its just once again that line between it being too much.

        How to make readers really care about your characters? I think thats where the magic of writing comes in. I think that depends on how the writer feels about their character.
        One of my favorite author’s has very memorable characters who I do get attached to. Why? I think a large part is because she gets attached to them herself. They aren’t just characters to her. They are real to her so that comes out in her words.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s a good point…if an author loves their character it will shine through…I hadn’t thought of it like that

        Like

  9. Log-line One.

    A longtime and successful member of a blogging community questions if she’s couching her writing for fellow weblog posters, or would her prose style play just as well to general public readers. To test that thought, she develops a week long writing experiment on her blog, where quickly, fur flies, boo hoo, and high jinks ensue.

    Log-line Two

    “I want to write for readers not writers,” was the comment posted that startled the active member of a large blogging community. We all read. We all write. And now with Social Media, what’s the difference? A big difference, she would soon find out.

    Or that comment …just a simple, sad, and convoluted conceit.

    Log-line 3

    The Big Apple Blogger was aware of the fruit salad nature of the project, and on a forum notorious for one and done, she must keep each post fresh for five days running. And then cherry pick the peccadilloes of her posting platform, while begging patience from her readers, and all this just to parse some condiment of a comment posted on here blog over six months ago. It can’t be done…but…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes you need to think out of the box…and experiment…I guess sometimes the author needs to throw a curve ball…and the result isn’t necessarily to get the ball over the plate…it’s just to try a different pitch

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve been watching my Boys in Blue “fight for their lives” on various diamonds over the last couple of weeks so obviously I appreciate you baseball analogy.

        Major kudos for thinking outside the box and trying this experiment with the natural expectation that many of your followers would respond to each post individually and/or to the whole series. Since i read your posts on a weekly basis your questions put what you were trying to do in a little bit of perspective for me.

        Suffice to say that I am a “selfish” reader, especially when it comes to fiction which I assume this story was. That means I’m only looking at the styles you used vis-a-vis my personal preferences and experiences. That being said, since I’m old I didn’t like the texted story. IDK, maybe those messages were too short to get me involved in the story. Also, since I’m divorcing an alcoholic and am not much of a drinker myself, likewise the story with attitudes based on various beverages also left me cold.

        I liked the other two versions and think they succeeded best at leading me to a picture of the protagonist you seem to have had in your mind. Again, as an old person, the details you used to set the attitude around the scene of the room really resonated with me.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. LA, you know I normally have something to say about all of the things, but this one is too assignment oriented, so I got nothing.

    I will say this, though…using the word part did confuse me, too. I thought it was going to be a story that kept going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally understand. I know it’s a bunch to ask, and it’s totally different than what I normally do. But sometimes you need to try things out. I can’t see me repeating this, but it was something I wanted to try

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And yes…I’ve been writing my posts two days in advance, which basically means that my the time my post appeared on Monday, I’d already written 3 of 4 posts. It didn’t dawn on me till yesterday how it looked…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, as we’ve discussed many times, I think when someone writes from the heart it works. And works big. Sure, there are many top selling authors that might not write from the heart, however, will they be remembered 100 years from now? Doubtful. There are so many stories about writers who wrote ahead of their time, where their writing didn’t even sell or attract attention until much later. I think the best books, most impactful with the most longevity, come from the heart. I love the discussion about the concepts the reader brings to a story. That will always happen, via assumptions, biases, etc. I also like the discussion about language. The words we choose. That does really matter. I often look up a words definition, just to make sure I am conveying the proper meaning. Anyway, your experiment was well done, I for one, enjoyed it! 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find people can get quite nutty about the word thing….but I usually try to find the right word. Sometimes when I write I get so wrapped up in my head and knowing what I mean, I forget what others need to see my mind picture. And of course I’m going to spin it a little on Monday…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed. This happens in in-person communication too. I will often stop myself when communicating with someone, when Im going too fast, and say, let me see if I can find better language to describe what’s in my head, as you cannot see in there…😉 Ah, I look forward to the Monday spin.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I totally freaking agree wit everything you posted! If I may ask, what is an introvert? I think I’m one myself but don’t really know what it truly means lol. I’m a lil slow but once I catch on watch out buddy cuz here I am.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s