I’ve been catching up on my sister-in-law Wendy’s fascinating ruminations on writing. She raised a point in one of her thoughtful postings that’s stuck with me all day. In this age of rampant blogging, where personal contact with your favorite author is only a mouse-click away, are we destroying the illusion behind our fiction? Are our readers getting to know us too well?
Wendy describes what it was like becoming a regular reader of an author’s blog… and then reading the author’s subsequent novels:
Through her blog, I found her to be charming, witty, and insightful. I returned again the next day. And the next. I lurked until eventually, I left a comment. She responded, she laughed out loud, she said we were kindred sprits.
Why hadn’t I done this before? It was nothing of what I feared. Her site became a daily stop for me. I found the voice of her blog to be separate and distinct from her author voice. I loved reading both.
Things, as they are apt to do, started to change.
In a recent release her heroine broke character with a rant that sounded a lot like the author’s ever increasing web rants. I thought I saw a flash of nylon fishing line. In her following release, the subtext I had previously loved was missing from her dialog. Well, I knew she rushed, too much to write with a deadline on screaming approach. Now, I’m certain—I saw the puppeteer’s hand.
I often wonder as I write this blog, and as I enjoy the blogs of other writers, if there’s a danger that the people reading our books, or watching our TV shows, will find it increasingly difficult to suspend their disbelief, to become lost in the fictional worlds we create…. that our personalities will overwhelm our work and our audience will, instead, only be hearing and seeing the writer behind the words.
You tell me.