Posting the first Wednesday of every month, The Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.
To change things up a bit, every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Let's give our co-hosts a warm welcome! Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!
I can remember wondering quite clearly in high school, while reading and writing book reports for the classics we had to read, why it was we had to search for hidden meanings, or for symbolism. Why, I wondered, can't I just read the story and enjoy it without all this digging around for the author's ulterior motive?
Although I still mostly read for enjoyment without looking for the "deeper meaning" I have a much better understanding of how layered writing can be.
In my book, A LIZARD'S TAIL, the naive, self-assured, and vain young hero learns the value of getting help from others and of not being so proud. But learning these lessons costs him something. That's the hidden message. However, it remains a simple adventure story, and can be read that way.
As for THE BOWL AND THE STONE, on one level it's a simple ghost story. But on another it's about deep and abiding friendship, even a friendship that can survive across time.
Did I intentionally write these stories with those messages in mind? Not at the beginning. They evolved on their own. And, as I saw it evolving, I nurtured it.
The trick, I've discovered, is not to be blatant. Let the story be told, let the message be like Easter eggs hidden in plain sight but not so plainly that the beautiful colors become a distraction. If you find the eggs, that's wonderful. If you don't, nothing is taken away from the story.
That's what I've learned from being an avid reader.
What about you? Has being a writer changed your experience as a reader, or has reading changed your experience as a writer?