Monday, July 16, 2007

The Gentle Reader

"Can it be - it must be - that you are that embodiment of the incorporeal, that elusive yet ineluctable being to whom through the generations novelists have so unavailingly made invocation; in short, the Gentle Reader?"

-Henry James

I came across this quote today. I had to look up "ineluctable." It means: "not to be avoided or escaped; certain; inevitable."

I have been browsing in bookstores during the past week, reading the first pages of books that look interesting to me or similar to what I'm trying to write. I'm trying to get ideas for the opener of my book. I have to admit I've been feecing a little discouraged. It seems that most authors try to grab the reader's attention with something shocking or violent. Even Christian authors. "Perhaps this is the only kind of thing people will read anymore," I have been thinking. "Perhaps this is the only kind of book that publishers will print. Perhaps my vision is simply unpublishable."

I had to remind myself that from the beginning, this project was an attempt to write what I would like to read. Every time I stray from that and try to conform to what I think is publishable, I get discouraged and frustrated. This little tidbit from Henry James is a gentle reminder that it's okay to be gentle. That readers like myself are ineluctable. That they are out there, waiting for me to finish my work.

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