Hello, Blogosphere, and good morning.
So I’ve been thinking recently about publishing and what exactly my role may become as an author. I did some reading across various authorial websites and over and over again, the question indirectly posed itself on whether the author of a novel owns that novel, or has some sort of deeper understanding or knowledge of the text than its readers.
The answers submitted ranged to absolutes, and everything in between. On one end of the spectrum, some authors claimed to know exactly what their readers do, and on the other some claimed to know the existentialities and fates of everything and everything they had ever written.
Which is rather interesting to me, on both sides of the argument.
So I figured I’d offer up my piece, just to make that part of authorship a bit more muddled.
Essentially, I agree with the school of thought that says I have only as much knowledge of my story as anyone else does. I see the story, sure. I write it. But truth be told, I’d actually say I know less.
See, the thing about authors is that we never really…you know, read the books. Not like a normal person, from beginning to end without all the VoicesInTheHead yelling or whatnot. When we as authors read, even if it’s not by choice, we see behind every paragraph the other four drafts of the section, all the hardship and critiques and lingering self-doubt and the reverberating question that has no answer on whether or not this book was ever truly worth publishing in the first place.
It’s not so much personal choice for us to see all that as it is a compulsory sort of thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. It’s part of the process and it lends itself to a deeper knowledge and understanding of any other work of literature.
Except our own.
I tend to think of this as a bit of a tainting of our own work, when we look at it. Try as we might, humans are rather terrible at looking at things objectively, which is further complicated by the sheer amount of brainpower and history there inherently is behind a story. If someone is privy to all that, and has firsthand experience with every bit of it, isolation of the work itself and interpretation free of any other thought-thinking is very hard to do.
And rightfully so. I honestly love that about writing–that I’ve created a seed of sorts, and upon its release it will be the job of readers to grow it into enjoyment, experience and such, as well as the profit, book tours and movie deals that authors like us kind of need in order to separate our need for writing and our need to go to some cafe.
So, that’s my two cents. I’ve never read my story, and really, I never will. As authors we gain a lot, but we pay a price. And that’s it. So what I would recommend is to let others read the book.
Let them have it. We’ve taken more than our fair share.
May you remain existential,