Scylla and Charybdis

Lori blogged about
in fanfic
, and I said: You said someone said, “For storytellers, it’s all
about the dynamic between writer/speaker and audience.” Then you went on to
say how the catharsis was also a cry to the audience. Where do people who
don’t write for an audience at all fit in?

I don’t have time to go back to the original blogs, since I’m going away to
a keyboardless place for the weekend, so I’m probably misinterpreting some of
this blogversation. I’m not aiming for accurate representation; this is just my take
on the words and phrases being tossed around. You have been warned.

It looked to me like the source bloggers
were saying that good writers want to communicate with their audience and bad
writers are just doing a brain dump onto the keyboard without regard for their
audience. Lori did a little analysis of the more godawful and oversensitive of
the bad writers, saying that they also were communicating something to the
audience - a plea for approval, perhaps. I noticed that no one acknowledged
doing it purely for yourself as a legitimate (source blog) or
possible (Lori’s blog) option. (I’m sure Lori would have defended the introverts
if she’d had the time.)

I don’t think you have to be doing some “dynamic” thing with your
audience in order to be a good writer, and I don’t think that literary merit is
determined by anything but the audience’s enjoyment of the work. In fact,
a work that both rabid ’shippers with “no feeling for language
& no love of prose” and English professors slumming here in fandom
can appreciate has more true literary merit than
Pulitzer material that the average fan doesn’t enjoy. Shakespeare wrote to
both levels, and if we can’t do it, that’s our fault, not our readers’.

And Shakespeare is dead now, so he’s not doing anything dynamic with
his audience. It makes no difference today whether he was interested in his
audience or in his dysfunctions or in his next paycheck. Only the words
on paper matter.

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