Many years ago, a colleague, Rus VanWestervelt, shared with me a graphic that illustrated his idea of the relationship between a writer and his reader. He described this relationship as a continuum wherein the writer never leaves the piece, but the audience doesn’t enter until a piece of writing has been officially established as a “draft,” that is, a piece of writing that has a future for the writer and a future for a reader who happens upon the piece. For this reason, he asserted, as long as the writer keeps the intended audience in mind during the drafting, revising, and editing stages of the manuscript, success is almost certain.
The Writer-Audience Continuum
As a creative non-fiction writer, Rus describes the initial stage in his writing process as an exercise in free writing. Most writers engage in various pre-writing strategies, at which time we may or may not know who our…
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