Cecilia Grant just made a fantastic post about the importance of the reader’s input in genre fiction. Here’s my favorite bit:
They played this one number – a quieter love song that had been a radio hit – and the audience, most of whom seemed to be young women and all of whom seemed to know the words, sang along. And when the chorus came around for the second time, the singer stepped back from the mike and the audience kept on singing by themselves.
I suppose this isn’t uncommon in rock concerts, but in that moment, it just seemed like such a clear and lovely illustration of the audience’s role in realizing – completing – a piece of popular art. The artist writes the song, records it, sends it out into the world, and it’s not really complete until it’s received by someone to whom it means something. The audience gives it that last little spark; makes it real, like the Velveteen Rabbit.
Readers and my imagined audience and my experience as the audience of other people’s stories and my connection with other writers/readers are a HUGE part of my creative process so this post really resonated with me.