Which is more important – Author or Story?

26 Oct

The Weekend Quote …

‘What I hope for from a book – either one that I write or one that I read – is transparency.  I want the story to shine through.  I don’t want to think of the writer.’  (Anne Tyler)

I find this quote very interesting!  When we lose ourselves in the texture of someone else’s words do we want to think of that person (the author) or not?  How many of us choose a book simply because we’re a fan of the author?  Can authorial style / voice become too distinct, and spoil our sense of escapism?  

Stephanie Lennox, author, friend and mentor had this to say:

“Interesting question, Susi!  Wow. 

I don’t think it’s the ‘voice’ that could ever spoil the work for me, because if I’m reading a book, I’ve already decided that I like the voice. Chuck Palahnuik or Paulo Coehlo (My two favourites) both have incredibly strong voices, and it is undeniably evident when you’re reading their works, but that just adds to the beauty of it.  If I do ever think of the writer throughout the story, its only ever in a positive way, knowing I’m supporting a great artist. I do choose books simply because they are written by particular authors.

One of my favourite novels was written by an author named Darren Shan, and the series he wrote was absolutely captivating. There was literally no time to think about the author…!  However, in the next few books he wrote, I felt they were too strained and it definitely did pull me out of the story a few times.

In conclusion, story is more important 😛 ”

Thank you so much for your response, Stephanie.  It’s almost a chicken and egg thing!  How many of us have repeated an anecdote which fell flat and said, ‘it sounded much better when so-and-so told it …’?   Some of us have a gift  when it comes to placing the right words in the right order.  Then there’s intonation, expression and manipulation of the reader’s senses and emotions.   But there has to be a good story in the first place.

Ahhh, storytelling.  (When we tell stories in the right way).

 

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