Monday, August 15, 2016

Full Immersion Writing

I don't like books that are so pared down, so dumbed down that it's like reading a soap bubble. I don't like that feeling of having a slick film of burst bubbles on my brain after reading a book touted as one of the best ever written. Maybe it's the best that author can accomplish but it's a huge disappointment to this reader.

I probably go the complete opposite end of the writing content scale. I created characters and locations, settings that are rich enough to make the reader believe that these characters are very real, that they could walk down Main Street in their town and run into one or two of them and know them instantly. I probably include too much information, but that's my style of writing. When I read a book I want to know as much about the characters as I possibly can. I want to be able to relate to them and not just think, well this is a shallow so-and-so I have no desire to get to know better.

I want my characters to walk off the pages into the reader's life and involve them on many levels.

I want my readers to pass through a town- any town- and turn their head and say, "I know this place! This is where (insert character's name) bought gas, ate supper that time, blew a tire out, went to school..."

Besides writers like Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Alexander Dumas, Charles Dickens from days of yore, I can think of several modern day writers who fall in the category of full immersion writers- Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Erin Kelly to name a few. These authors immerse the reader in entire worlds and breathe life into their characters so they practically step off the page.

Readers probably find me too wordy. Editors would probably roll their eyes, place my work on the chopping block and attack it with an axe to pare it down because they evidently believe readers are morons who can't process much information beyond tweets and facebook posts. There is intelligence still in this world hungering to be fed. I write to provide sustenance to those hungry minds.

There's plenty of brain lint on the shelves in bookstores these days.

That makes me sad because it gets harder and harder to find a good book that really gets me involved in the characters lives and their story to the point where I care- where I laugh, cry, cheer, want to offer advice and wise counsel, and sometimes want to wring their necks and kick their stupid asses when they screw up.

I often begin a book and then toss it aside because nothing I've read really compels me to continue, to find out what happens next, what happens to the characters.

I suppose I am a picky reader (although my bookshelves groan under the weight of books I've enjoyed reading- and the local public libraries have benefitted from donations of about fifty cartons of books for their book sales, all books I thought might be good but in reality were hugely disappointing. At least the libraries benefit.)

This probably sounds very arrogant to you, but writing is my passion. When I write a book I want to give the reader the full story, the full reading experience. I want to grip the reader by the front of his/her shirt and drag him/her through page after page of written word, of full immersion storytelling, and then drop them at the The End panting, cheering, sobbing, cursing, wanting to run outside and shout a character's name in the hopes of summoning them from the ether to give them a high five.

To draw a response like that from a reader is what I want to do with my writing. That is what gives me a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of satisfaction. If I can't elicit a response like that then I have failed not only the reader who expected so much more when they opened the cover but myself as well.

Full immersion writing- remember those words. (And if you know of a writer like this then send me a message because I'm always on the lookout for a reading experience, not just a brain fluff diversion I curse myself for spending good money on and that will never grace a shelf in my Keeper library.)

No comments:

Post a Comment