The Relationship Between a Reader, Writer & Text
Our beliefs, viewpoints and life experiences shape how we process information. Words impart meaning by cultivating a symbolism rich enough to expand our wisdom and understanding.
Words can take on different meanings depending on the reader’s perspective or the context bestowed on them by the writer. Yet they tell no tales unless they become the magical enchantment that draws the reader and writer together.
Transactional Theory suggests that the text and the readers equally affect each other. Text is only text unless a reader absorbs its ideas and imagery. Transactional Theory also asserts that readers tend to understand a work based on past experience.
The reader’s upbringing, feelings and memories form the foundation for his understanding of the text as well as coloring the responses evoked by the text.
Readers should explore the organization of texts and the way meaning evolves from the writer to the reader by way of the text.
Just as artists and medical personnel profit from examining the methods used by leaders in the disciplines of art and medicine, so should readers gain from the language skills of writers. A writer may know more than the reader, or his perspective may offer him a unique understanding.
Writers connect with readers by keeping their audience in mind during the writing process or by speaking directly to them through narration. Understanding what the readers expect inspires the writer’s word choices, enabling him to clearly articulate his views.
Writing becomes ineffective, however, if the writer fails to flesh-out his ideas, if he is too concerned with offending the reader or if he tries too hard to cater to what he thinks the reader wants.
Literary meaning is crafted through the symbolism and traditions that have been around since the earliest texts were written.
The meaning of each text is derived not only from the writer’s background and circumstances, but also from the reader’s language skills as well as the perspective in which the reader receives it.
When readers are flexible, they are able to peruse diverse styles of writing, reading them carefully in order to grasp even the smallest details.
The writer steers clear of info dumping, so as not to overwhelm the reader. Still the writer must sustain the story’s momentum while, at the same time, providing enough information and details to avoid losing the reader.
The writer must decide which information is vital for the reader to know and what information will ground the reader in the story’s universe so that he enthusiastically sets off on whatever quest the story confers on him.
By the time readers reach adulthood, they have read extensively enough to be able to read and write on multiple levels. At the literal level, readers and writers have established a comprehensive vocabulary.
Readers and writers can make inference, connect ideas together and draw conclusions. Finally, readers and writers are able to compare and contrast texts with their world experiences, facilitating critical thinking.