Who is the Story for?

The writer gets the characters together, puts them in situations, shows their backbone – or lack of – and pushes them through plots and troubles until the lesson is learned, the question is answered, the world is set right – or the consequences are clear for all to see.

That’s how a writer does it, but do they make the story for themselves?

I’m a writer, and I write stories, but are they my stories? Are they about me, or for me, or is it something else, something more?

The stories I write have some parts of me in there. Experiences, extrapolations from events, moments, traumas. Sometimes, they’re built into much more than the reality, but that reality was mine at the time, and the story is borrowing the context of the moment, not the reality.

So, whose reality is it?

Characters aren’t real, except in the mind of the reader (okay, I admit to visualising the character as real when I’m creating their story). It’s what they go through that’s real. The struggles, internal and external, belong to a real person, demonstrate a real event, or a real fear, or something about life that’s hard, or emotional, or necessary if unlikeable.

The subtext of the story is real to the reader if the character is real enough as their story is read.

And the question of Who is the Story for?

That’s answered by the person who’s reading it at this moment. If it’s real enough in their mind, it’s their journey, a metaphor of life for that person, at that time.

The story is a long metaphor to demonstrate something the reader feels is reality.

It should be a longer piece, as there’s so much to dig into in this topic, but I have one usable hand (four fingers, now that the lh thumb isn’t playing the game after the abuse it has copped since the other one went on strike).

14 thoughts on “Who is the Story for?

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your thumb, Cage. I must admit that I write for myself about topics that interest me. I am a bit self indulgent that way. I don’t want other people to enjoy my writing and work very hard at the editing to make my books the best they can be, but I do write them to please myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it belongs to us as we create the story, but when someone else reads it, they bring their own history, their own sense of life resonances to the event.
      We own it as we read it, whether as the creator, or any other form of audience for the story – well, that’s what I think.


  2. Damn. I was hoping the damaged thumb had improved. Bravo for coming up with such an interesting topic despite the lack of thumbs.
    I don’t know how other people write, but the first draft is always for me, and only me. The act of publishing sets the story free, like a bird released from a cage. No pun intended.
    Get better soon. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel a lot of it depends on the medium, and the intended pyrpose.
    Presumably, if you are writing commercially, you have to think in terms of a market, and by implication, you need to provide something that the market wants.
    But to write as a hobby, where there is no money involved and the buzz for the writer is in putting the words down, rather than being read by people, then I think the writer is the only person who matters.
    I can read stories on here which are 1500 words of unbearable, yet the author has enjoyed penning them, obviously. As long as they’re not looking to make commercial gain out of me, there is no harm done. If the story is that bad, I just move on.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.