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The author and the reader

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I found this quote by Jeffrey Eugenides. It seems to me a fine nutshell statement of how a serious author should view his or her audience:

Of teaching creative writing, Eugenides remarked in an interview in The Paris Review, "I tell my students that when you write, you should pretend you're writing the best letter you ever wrote to the smartest friend you have. That way, you'll never dumb things down. You won't have to explain things that don't need explaining. You'll assume an intimacy and a natural shorthand, which is good because readers are smart and don't wish to be condescended to. I think about the reader. I care about the reader. Not “audience.” Not “readership.” Just the reader."
#1 - March 19, 2018, 01:49 PM
SurfYourOwnMind.com, children's creativity blog currently in development.

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I love this, esp. as I'm an inveterate letter writer. Sometimes this is how I warm up for a writing session. Time to fish out my quotes notebook for copying it. Thank you Gatz!
#2 - March 19, 2018, 01:55 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

I'm glad you share my view, Vijaya. I wish I were more of a letter-writer myself.

Gatz
#3 - March 19, 2018, 02:16 PM
SurfYourOwnMind.com, children's creativity blog currently in development.

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This is brilliant, Gatz!! Thank you for sharing!!!

 :thankyou
#4 - March 19, 2018, 03:19 PM

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I love this too. I think I'd substitute the smartest (kid of age x) I know because my friends have vocabularies a five year old couldn't match, but yes. It's about that one reader who is a stand in for the rest.
#5 - March 19, 2018, 06:57 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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I have a corollary to this: have your characters write each other letters. It is so illuminating to see what characters hide, what they reveal to one another.

Gatz, I hope you take up letter writing. Here's a defense: http://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2016/07/write-letters-for-fun-and-writing.html --this little article was one of my first acceptances :)
#6 - March 19, 2018, 09:55 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

I love the intimate relationship with the reader.

Ree
#7 - March 20, 2018, 04:08 AM

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Thanks, Gatz. This goes in my quote file, too.  :star2
#8 - March 20, 2018, 08:40 AM

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I love Eugenides's novels. Always intelligent, and deeply engaging.
#9 - March 20, 2018, 09:51 AM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing Aug 2012
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520 July 2011

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