September 10, 2012

Fictional Audience

In this article I started off with a little trouble understanding some of Ong's concepts. After further reading I was able to grasp the majority of what he is trying to convey. Ong say's that the audience is fictional. He discusses how to view both your characters and your readers upon writing. Page 12 was a great source for understanding this. He says "the writer must cast and audience in a role" and "the reader must play the role in which the author has cast him." What Ong means is that a writer should aim the audience to assume some type of role when reading the book.  This role can either be an all knowing role where the reader is informed the whole time from an outside perspective, or you are left in the dark like the character in the story, on to discover more and more as the story plays out. This also goes for the reader. The reader must have the ability to to take the role assigned by the writer. But only the writer can make that possible. He also says not to think so directly as to who specifically his audience, for example; "the boy reading the book on the subway." You should think of a general audience and fictionalize them, but not specify each reader as a character. There were a few other concepts of his, but I think I understood this one the best.

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