Dear Author…

When I was in the 3rd grade I discovered my love of reading. My teacher (Ms. Butler) had this huge green canoe in her classroom, filled to the brim with blankets and pillows, and if we finished our work early we had the distinct pleasure of being able to sit in that huge green boat and read. This particular treat (very quickly) became my favorite part of the day. I would rush through my work, grab a book, and head off to whichever land the literary gods deemed worthy that day. I read 56 books that year.

For the last 20 years I have gobbled up every book I could get my hands on; content in the escape they afforded me, but it was not until recently that I truly understood what kept me coming back to the written word. The characters.

A novel is made up of about 100 things; plot, timing, word manipulation (just to name a few) but none of these elements, (regardless of how you spin them) is going to make a damn bit of difference if you can’t feel where they are coming from.

No, I’m not a masochist and have this underlying urge to be (for example) a kidnap victim, but I DO want to feel the anxiety of the person that is being kidnapped. I want to worry about them, gasp when they get hurt, cry when they are struggling to deal with loss. I want my head to swim, my heart to beat out of my chest. I WANT that character to change my life…even if it’s only for 300 pages.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well that’s simple. In the last 3 months I have not come across a single book that has physically effected me. Yes, I have read good books, and yes I have complimented character development in several of them, but the fact of the matter is… if you can’t make me cry when a key character in your book dies, something is seriously wrong.

No, I am not desensitized (for those of you screaming at me right now) No, I am not heartless…(I cry at ASPCA commercials for God’s sake) what I am, is a girl who is missing the one thing in her life that has always been dependable.

So I leave you with this. My final thought, and my final plea to those of you who are directly responsible for this sudden absence;

Dear Authors,

Your story IS important, but the people living your story are PARAMOUNT. Dig deep, push boundaries… cause if YOU aren’t feeling your book, how am I going to?

About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

9 thoughts on “Dear Author…

  1. Great post. I know exactly what you mean. But it’s hard as the author to know what will evoke the same emotion in the reader as it evokes in the author. There’s a chapter in my book that always makes me teary, and one of my beta readers said it made her teary, but who knows what others will say? It’s so subjective…

    But I totally get what you’re saying. As an author, I need to dig deep and touch places that aren’t pleasant.


    1. “dig deep and touch places that aren’t pleasant” <---this is the exact sentiment I was trying to convey. I understand that books read differently to each individual, I just want authors to take the time to try 🙂

  2. Great post! The emotional pull of a book is a difficult thing to isolate but you know it when it’s there.

    The last book that made me cry buckets was The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. I cried then I got angry.

  3. This is a wonderful post, Misty. I must admit that it has been a very long time since I felt emotional over a character in a book. Authors sometimes get caught up with so many of the other elements that make up our story that sometimes the characters get lost in the shuffle. I truly think you’re an angel for writing this article. In fact, I’m going to copy and paste this article and use it as the first page of the manuscript of every book I write to remind me why I tell stories in the first place. It’s the characters that make us take the journey into new worlds. If we don’t feel what they feel, then the journey, however inviting, is ultimately unfulfilling.

  4. So true!

    I have also been reading many good books, but that book that has IT? Pretty evasive.

    I did just read The Dressmaker of Khair Khana which has brought back that wow factor. Hopefully it is a sign of books to come.

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