Well, this thought came to me one day when I was thinking about the writing process. Isn’t that what this writing stuff is all about? Aren’t we just trying to get our readers convinced that they can dig a hole to China (metaphorically, of course)? What we are trying to do is get them so involved and so connected to our book and our characters that they don’t realize that it isn’t real.
Am I the only one that googled to be sure that the book Amityville Horror was based on a true story? While there has been extensive controversy about the book on whether or not it’s claim is based on a true story, the book (not the movie) gives you an intense ride through the life of the family living inside of this house. It’s one of the few horror stories that gives you a better experience in the book, than the movie.
And how about the writer that’s telling this story? When reading these writing interviews, how often do writers get asked whether these events in their book were inspired by real experiences? (Remember the movie The Blair Witch Project…didn’t you just want that to be real?) Or how about writers who get asked whether their character’s were inspired by real people in their life? (I’m certain we’ve all gotten that question.)
Readers want to be convinced so much that what they are reading is real. It may have been found in the fiction section, but when a writer weaves a tail so cleverly that it leaves the reader wanting to meet this character, take them out for lunch, and gab about the experiences they just lived through, it seems as if that’s when the writer has truly achieved success.
Today I’m writing with the knowledge that my reader wants me to take their hand, and take them on a journey where they can believe in the story. I may be telling them about something that hasn’t really happened…about a place that doesn’t really exist…about a character they can’t meet…but that doesn’t really matter.
You know why?
Because at heart, we are still little kids, with a shovel in our hand, digging that hole to China.
Still wanting to believe that Santa is real.
That toys come to life when you’re not looking (or when you push them too far)…
And that the Great Pumpkin will rise again.
*grabs shovel* So, if any of you need me. I’ll be outside.