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Archive for July 10th, 2011


Reading and writing are concerned with people. The reason why I have been drawn to literature all my life is because I hoped – through story – to find out about people, to understand them better, to make sense of them. Sometimes, I have wondered how this is supposed to work – this quest to connect to humanity.

And, it seems to me, it works through the senses. Sense impressions – visual, aural, tangible, olefactory, gustatory – link the writer and the reader through their common humanity. This means, as writer or reader, you are not alone. The reader is seeking a commonality, a sign that he is not an outside – well, not entirely. And he – or she – wants to gain those extra insights which will make sense of his life.

Through these sense impressions, the writer builds up a situation for the reader which – on the whole – the reader can recognize. And the reader wants to be prompted to question ”What if . . . ?’ or ‘Where next? . . . ‘ This is produced by the infinite curiosity about the situation a human can find him/herself in. And the story may even produces the solutions necessary to escape from them. As a consequence, ‘What if . . .?’ and ‘Where next . . . ?’ are two of the most important questions a fiction writer can have in his or her tool kit.

But, when you are the writer and you are the audience, the whole experience moves up a gear. You learn to understand yourself better, to make sense of your own life. If you keep a daily journal, you learn what is important to you, what your chief anxieties are – and in a safe place you will practise the communication of these significant concerns.

Reading and creating literature helps –  in the same way. So, for some reading recommendations – and otherwise – please see my Reading List, on LinkedIn.

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