May 14th, 2007

Loz Cola

Trusting the reader/Understanding the writer...

I write in reaction, a lot of the time. It's why I write fan fiction. It's my form of response. When I write something, I'm often referring to something, and a lot of the time, expecting the reader to know what I am referring to. I can't place the number of times I've sat down and typed away to myself as a direct result of reading, listening to or watching a text that has made something within me spark. And I'm very referential in my writing, very self-referential in my writing - deliberate echoes and shadows and injokes.

I put a lot of myself into the things I do. I find that I often expect my audience to know a little something about me as a person, at least to fully understand what I was trying to do, even if they infer something distinctly different. And as I've developed as a writer, that sense of self has grown in awareness. Reading a story from April last year tells me more about myself than reading my posts - where I self-censor and select. I share those parts of myself I would usually guard, sometimes subconsciously, sometimes as a form of release.

Hopefully, I'm not so obscure that everything I do is completely nonsensical if you haven't spent time engaging with me in some way, but I'm also sure that it probably helps. It helps, when reading that fic, knowing what I've said about that character in the past. It helps, when reading that fic, knowing what my sense of humour is like. That fic is clearly a play on that fic.

I trust my reader, but do I trust them too much? Does it come to a point where I take lazy shortcuts instead of justifying myself in the text? Or do I justify myself enough and have an added bonus there for those who've also seen that film, read that interview, or participated in that fannish debate? Or, in the case of me spilling my soul - chatted with me about this, seen me be neurotic about that, witnessed my display of pettiness?

I have a horrible feeling this is something I can't judge myself.