Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let it go

"Kipling believed that the author's intent is the least important aspect. What is important is that the author create his work. The later interpretation of it has nothing to do with him, being entirely in the hands of the reader."
Jorge Luis Borges (a prolific writer from Argentine, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. His work embraces the "character of unreality in all literature." He dabbled in everything from poetry to photography.

Borges makes clear a concept that is sometimes hard for an author to accept. Once your thoughts are formed into to words, the words are put on paper, and a random reader takes up the book, the author is no longer in control of his work. All written communication is at the mercy of the interpreter. This is a good and a bad thing. 
The writer must represent many things to produce meaning in the readers' minds, and feel confident enough to allow the reader to claim the images evoked and shape them to his own understanding.

To say windmill might bring up the image of an old wooden contraption on an dilapidated farm. Or, windmill might be visualized as rows and rows of tall, sleek steel generating energy on a wind farm.

When the reader is allowed to bring his own memories and experiences to a book, he or she invests in the story. The consumption of the book is a more satisfying adventure. 
A good description is only specific enough to make parameters for the reader to use in constructing his own image of the scene.


  1. thank you agen you are so good at giving advise me and my cousin are going to make an awsome book thanks to you your personal preview :Ria could feel the hot breath of the giant rat on the back of her neck she called out Brios Help ! she hoped he was close enuff to hear her call luckuly he was brios was nearby practicing sword fighting when he heard his sisters call of help he ran over sword drawn thare was a loud slicing sound and then a thud the beast had fallen.

  2. Mrs. Paul,
    I was going through old posts on my blog and spotted a comment from you. I don't think I ever properly thanked you for was a long while ago, but it still touches me today, especially since I have read all your DragonKeeper books and loved them. Your work is inspiring, and so are your bits of writing advice. They encourage me to keep up my own writing.
    God bless you!

    Many thanks,