Monday, March 15, 2010
Ever notice that artists, singers, actors/actresses, and authors have a lot in common? Not long ago, I equated being a writer with an Olympian, and I saw the similarities as the athletes prepared for their moment of competition, hoping for their best performance ever. Each time I begin a new novel, I pray that it's better than the previous one...that something in that next attempt reaches out, grabs attention and earns me my "moment."
That comparison still applies but now I've added other entertainment fields to the mix.
What is the commonality, you ask? Unless an author touches the reader's heart, just as any other performer, we've lost our ability to connect. People buy artwork because it's appealing to the eye. Singer's voices and the lyrics connect the a listener's heart, actors and actresses are the vehicles through which the words of a screenwriter are conveyed. Like SHOWING in a novel, those holding movie roles must become the person, feel their emotions, experience their pain. Working for a Grammy, Oscar or recognition of any kind takes devotion.
In the ten plus years that I've been writing, I've learned more than I could possibly list here. Through my recent class taught by Cheryl St. John, well-known HQ author, I've received validation of what I know to be true. Rule number one: The reader has to care! Not everyone will, and that's a fact.
Some art lovers adore Monet, others don't.
Most women swooned over Patrick Swayze in Ghost while others considered it romantic drivel.
Some music lovers grieved the loss of John Lennon; personally I was never a Beetles fan and his passing saddened me, but I cried when Luther died. He touched my soul with his songs.
Conflicting opinions continue in reading as evidenced by two reviews of the same novel: one appreciating and one picking the book apart. But I still apply rule number one and work to make whoever reads my book care about my characters, my plot, my storyline. If I don't, then I won't ever please anyone, and that would be horrible. I'm sure every other "artist" has faced the same dilemma and disappointment, but that doesn't stop a professional from reaching for "that moment."