September 9, 2012

Ong's "The Writer's Audience is always a Fiction"

In Ong's "The Writer's Audience is Always a Fiction" he discusses how a writer does not write for an audience but more specifically they write for the readers. I understand where he is coming from because we, as a whole, more readily associate an audience with something that is happening with the here and now or verbal communication. On the other hand though I think you have to consider when rhetorical discourse is in the here and now. But in terms of readers I am not sure that I truly understand Ong's reasoning behind creating your own audience or fictionalizing them. In regards to his example about writing like Mark Twain and creating a fictionalized audience so that his potential reader understands his text. What does that have to do with the creation of a writing? How does someone just fictionalize an audience? Furthermore, how is it that the reader fictionalizes themselves? I understand the idea of reading an article or book and imagining it happen in your mind but personally I do not relate this to the "game of literacy" and "conforming (myself) to the projections" because when I read as the audience I still relate myself to real life. 


Maddy Cuono said...

I agree with your stance on the readers and the audience. I think that if Ong expects all writers to create a fictionalized audience that it does take away from the creativity of writing and the writer's personal style. There is no point in trying to create an audience when all it will do is hinder the writer's creativity and adventure. It may also be difficult for the writer to fictionalize an audience especially through their own creative process of writing and completing a piece of work.

There should really be no expectation placed on the reader, either. This also takes away from their own creative and imaginative experience. It takes away from the enjoyment and the escape of the reading if they must fictionalize themselves to fit the mold they believe that they are supposed to fit.

Drea Fetchik said...

I think he is saying that you write with someone in mind, like when you are writing a poem you are writing for yourself or when you are writing for school you are writing or your teacher.
This is what my creative writing teacher taught us but you fictionalize an audience by pretending that you were reading a story out load. So in a way you would do the opposite of what Ong said (to write write like you are writing out loud). When every you are writing you are addressing someone (whether you know it or not), but by visualizing them you can cater to their needs that much better. For example if you are writing to teens you need to be very dramatic in all aspects.

I think he is just trying to emphasizes that the reader and the writer have a purpose, and in his case he is emphasizing their position even more in his peace

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