Up until yesterday, I was unsure what I would write about this year. I knew I wanted it to feel meaningful to me, or it would never be important to the reader. And by important, I mean that the reader should be left wanting more. A few nights ago, someone on television quoted E.M.Forster as saying that we must “only connect.” I like the word connect with all its obvious and subtle meanings. I like to write because it connects me to others in a shared idea, regardless as to whether we may or may not agree on the point at hand.
Martin Buber’s theory of dialogue suggests that dialogue is a connection between parties allowing each one to potentially change the other. He believed it was not merely an exchange of words, but an exchange of ideas that create a relationship.
I want my characters to create a relationship with the reader, which can only happen if the reader cares about the character. When the characters can connect with each other, they can also connect with the reader. The story then actually becomes a sort of dialogue with the potential to change the reader, even if it is only in that moment when the reader forgets his own world and becomes part of the time and place I created for him.