They want short. They want long. All of them can’t have enough of dialogues. Some enjoy to linger over philosophical musings, the descriptions of a place, someone’s job with all its specifics and peculiarities. Other push for plot advancement. As a new novelist I feeel like a cab driver with a married couple in my car; the husband pushing for speed because he has an urgent appointment to get to—that’s his explanation—while the wife let out throaty sounds of despair each time I pedal the gas.
For now, they are the only readers I’ve got, each one of them as important to me as water and food. They represent a microcosm of readers at large with their varied demands and contrary wishes. My job as a writer is to please them all to perfection.
For you, Cindy, I’ll chop. And you, Michelle and Sherry, I’ll dice and mince. And for you, Hratch, I’ll weave and embroider.
For the love of fiction, I will do whatever it takes to get your full attention, draw you inside the world I create for you, you alone and no other.
I’ll make you smell it, the love and hatred, money, power, jealousy. The coffee they drink. The pancake they cut and fork. The rice steam.
You will see it. My protagonist’ Asian features. The world through his eyes. Her betrayal as dark as her hair. The family’s pain as sharp as their daughter’s manicured fingers when she wants to claw her way outside the protective cocoon of their love.
You will hear it. The cadence of a story unfolding. The foreign accents. The mute tone of despair.
You will touch her skin so silky as if you yourself are making love to her. You will fight his will so hard like a rhino’s hide.
I will make it short so that you would wish it longer and I will lengthen it to your agony, wishing it would stop before it rips you apart.
You will beg for more long or short.
Then I will be satisfied.
Then I will be a proven novelist.