Hearing our readers

You are a writer! You write notes and letters, poems and diaries. You write on screens and paper, using thumbs or pencils or glorious glitter pens. And that is just great! Hurrah! We hope that you are writing every day. We know that the more you write, the better you become. Lots of your writing might be just for yourself and you feel no need to make changes. We also know that you can work on your writing. You can find new ways of saying things; try things out; make changes -small ones and humungous ones. You can do all that on your own but you can also you can do it with a little help from your friends. Look at some of last week’s posts to get some idea of how your readers can help you.

When you read aloud to someone else, you will hear what you do and don’t like about your writing. And your reader/ listener may let you know what you writing made them feel. They may laugh -or cry. They may ask you questions. That can be useful. Questions can tell you what your readers are interested in and what they want to know more about. Questions tell you that something that you thought was obvious is not at all obvious to someone outside your writing. Then it is up to you to make adjustments. You may decide that you don’t want your reader to know more at this stage of the story. You may realise that with a few words you can explain to the reader what is going on so they are not too puzzled to listen. You are always in charge.

Be humble. And be sure. It’s a paradox! You must learn to listen to what you readers tell you about how they understood your writing. You can be sure about your own decisions: should I change to help them? Am I sure that what I have written works in the way I want it to? Then stick with it.

Be observant. Sometimes, when you write a poem or a paragraph, and read it aloud, you feel a surge of recognition -Oh, you think, that really works. And your reader confirms that. Now you have to think it through. How does it work? What did you do? Had you cut out all those extra adjectives? Had you used an excellent proper noun – Marmite; The Wimble; Aloysius Potts? When you know how something works, you can choose to use it again. It goes into your work bag. So today’s thought is to be open to possible change, and on the lookout for what you like to do with your writing. Enjoy!

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