Monday, April 4, 2011

The Face of A Reader

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
-- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
-- Act iii, Sc. 2

A picture with Romeo and the Friar, from my yearbook!
...Ah, one of my favorite lines I had the privilege of speaking in the role of Juliet, my senior year of high school. Back then, I lived and breathed the theatre, and channeled my creative juices to portray believable characters.

As I look back on those performances, I realize that the nights when I actually knew people in the audience- family, friends, family friends – gave me such an adrenaline rush to perform my absolute best. Although the theatrical lighting glared in my eyes and I couldn't necessarily see their faces, knowing they were there gave me a heightened awareness of how they might process what my character was saying, doing...because I knew the audience those nights, I saw their faces in the back of my mind as I took the stage.
I would love to have a video of my performance with family in the audience, and without family there...I am sure I shined just a little more on nights when I knew who I was performing for.

Sixteen years later (wow, can't believe how long it's been!), I have chosen the art of writing to portray characters and plots, and intrigue a future audience. But two weeks ago, my future audience gained a face to heighten my attempt for believability and integrity. God graciously made me the mother of a daughter, after spending eight years as the “mom of boys”. While I sit and soak in every feature of my new baby, I praise God for her beauty, and I feel the standard of my writing being challenged.

One day, my daughter, the child I will do my best to raise in a Godly way... to teach how to be a strong woman in a tough day, she  might pick up a manuscript of mine (hopefully in published book form ;) ) and stare into a bit of my soul. It challenges me to do my best, just like knowing my audience from upon the stage years ago. I am pushed to display truth and integrity in my characters to the best of my ability.
The face of my reader is my beloved daughter, and I know my writing will thank her some day. :)

Do you ever think of specific readers as you write? Does it push you to write your best when you think of the impact your writing will have on these people?


Susan Anne Mason said...

Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!

I'm sure she'll love to read your work one day.


Casey said...

Oh very well said, Angie. I did theatre in play form for a few years and there is such a rush to perform on a grand level. I hadn't really thought of it that way in my writing. I do try to gear my writing for the "Audience of ONE" (as in my Heavenly Father. :).

Your sweet baby girl is so precious! :)

Ralene said...

Congrats, Angie, on the beautiful baby girl! This post is inspiring and I will def take some time to think more personally about my audience. :)

Angie Dicken said...

Thank you! Writing historical romance isn't really something I thought my sons would pick up and read later on...maybe my daughter will enjoy it as much as I do! :)

Diane Marie Shaw said...

I have heard about having a face for your reader while you are writing a book but it wasn't until I read this blog that I realized whose faces I want to use: my two granddaughers. Thanks for sparking that in me.

Angie Dicken said...

Great, Diane! So glad to help! :)

patti.mallett_pp said...

Beautifully put, Angie. Your baby girl is adorable! I will never forget the joy of giving birth to my daughter, the child I had prayed long and hard for. She is now thirty-five and we continue to inspire and challenge each other, sharpening our swords, sometimes bumping heads, and it has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Thank you for reminding me to keep her, and our journey, in mind as I write for Young Adults. Enjoy your new little angel. She will be well-protected by those big brothers!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Your daughter will adore your writing! She is so beautiful, just like her mama.

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks ladies! And I meant to apologize for my grammatical errors ALL over this post...going on little sleep and grammar is a weakness already! HA!