Behind the Wizard’s Curtain: Reader Input and the Work in Progress

VANESSA LAFAYE

wizard

I have recently spent quite a bit of time with readers of my debut novel, ‘Summertime’.   Aside from the sheer miracle of their existence (it has only been two months since publication), it was also very illuminating to see the book through their eyes, this thing which had only lived in my imagination for so long.  The characters were as real to them as they were to me, their lives and struggles just as interesting.  I had to keep reminding myself that it was my book under discussion and not someone else’s.  I’m not sure that this thrill will ever wear off.

The experience started me thinking about the role of the reader in the writing process.  For debut authors, who inhabit the mystical Land of No Expectations, friends and family are commonly the main sounding boards.  We need validation, confirmation that it’s not complete twaddle.  However, this can be…

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