[wwpoenglish] Purpose of a Writer - To Evoke Inner Stressors

  • From: Bruce Cook <cookcomm@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:22:56 -0600

Dear WWPO Members,

I submit for comments my opinion piece on the purpose of a fiction writer,
which I plan to release on author-me.com at the end of December. I feel
this is important since we need to explore methods for relievng stress in

Thank you for your comments.

Writer’s Purpose – No. 1 - Evoke

By Bruce L. Cook

What is the purpose of your story? Hopefully you don’t just want to extend
your fame as a writer. Instead, you want to offer something to your

A writer may have a variety of goals in mind. In my estimation, one of the
most important is to evoke. And, to evoke, the author needs to connect.

In this case, the story will need to stimulate an emotion that comes from
the reader’s life experience.

For example, if the reader had experience in ground warfare, a story might
evoke fear and terror learned in that setting. However, as a protection
against hurt, that reader might only risk those memories if the story is
written by a comrade-in-arms

More typically, consider the grief someone feels when they have lost a
beloved companion –a spouse or other family member or close friend.  Here
the author may become a grief counselor, and this involves increased

In this case a reader can permit the story to penetrate into protected
areas. The new life a reader has developed to cope with the loss has been
hiding the grief, but now the story opens the door and the reader clearly
sees the new reality in contrast with suppressed grief.

As an example for someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, the recent
film “Wild!” powerfully evokes moments of impending and actual loss.

In a role as grief counselor, the author leaves the arena of
director/producer and fades into the background. Regardless of details, the
narrative stands back as the emotion and memory which is normally shielded
from expression bursts forth with new power.

Some readers might object, for it can be embarrassing to weep or act
erratically while viewing a film or reading a book in a public place. In my
view, on the other hand, this as one of the most powerful roles an author
can assume, for the story has successfully removed a shield and opened the
spigot for a reader’s self-introspection. This can achieve the goal often
set forth by meditation exercises and other artificial stimuli.

At this point, confronted by electric memory of past hurt, the reader
confronts a reality that has been lurking in the background throughout a
new life that was created out of necessity. In experiencing this
juxtaposition of past with present, the reader can relax stress and gain a
healthy renewal of faith in the future. Who could ask for more?

The writer has a serious responsibility in helping the reader achieve this
level of personal truth. I encourage writers to explore ways to evoke past
memories and help shape the reader’s positive view of the future.

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