I look at this quote from many different perspectives:
Author Editor Reader
As an author I cling to the overall image of my work to be able to speak the truth about
all aspects of my writing. Yes, I see the setting, the characters, and the themes
as they are in their separate entities but I also see how they work together and hope that others will
see it in a similar way (rarely do two people see something the exact same way) and pray that I’m not misunderstood.
As an editor I have to look at the facts that are on the page, in black and white, and determine if the
image or truth is being spoken by the author is what’s intended – if the author’s vision comes through.
If my eyes read a different truth based on the facts before me, I need to point this out to the author.
Hopefully, the author will be receptive and work to clarify the truths he sees.
As a reader the truth of what I’m reading has nothing to with how something is phrased or the way
the big-picture is put together. As soon as I’m able to identify with and internalize
the facts that I’m reading, the truth of the story becomes my own – whether
the author or editor intended it that way or not.
I think it’s important to be aware of how the same work can have
different truths based on what people dare to make of the facts.
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