In theater, the fourth wall is what separates the action and the actors from the audience. It is understood that the fourth wall is never broken, unless there’s a damn good reason.
As a reader, I really dislike it when the fourth wall is broken. It’s jarring, and it makes for an unpleasant reading experience, IMHO.
Today, when I was writing, my narrator broke the fourth wall. It was jarring, unexpected, unappetizing, and about the point at which I decided to stop writing for the day.
A little later, at dinner with a friend, we talked about the process of writing, writing more than one thing at a time, and writerly guilt, a condition about which I was not warned. As a writer, I always feel guilty. Whether I’m spending too much, or not enough time on writing, which piece I’m paying more attention to, which one I’m more excited about at the moment… No one warned me about the apparently inevitable guilt that becomes part of being a writer.
We also discussed privacy and boundaries, specifically, other peoples’ blatant disregard for them. I understand that people are curious and have differing boundaries and ideas about what’s appropriate. I know a few people who would rather tell you everything about themselves than have any privacy. I’m not like this, and sometimes it’s necessary for me to withdraw. Regardless about what you think and feel, I think it’s necessary to learn the boundaries of the people around you and respect them, whether or not you agree with them.
Wow, I didn’t mean for that to turn into a rant. Sorry!
Anyway, I should get my sorry ass back to writing, lest guilt begin again.
Today, I also stood on the longest line of my life. At a book store! It was slightly thrilling. And I’m now done with Christmas shopping. Truth be told, I only bought gifts for my sister. I bought her one over the summer which she sort of picked out. I was going to leave it at that, but today it felt inadequate, so I bought her a novel. My mother is buying her a Wii and our extended family on one side is buying her a netbook. Sigh. Does no one read anymore? I must confess, though, that my sister loves to read. My fear now is not that she will never read, but that she will judge all things by the two authors she does read. I feel like she needs to branch out from Narnia and the Wimpy Kid series. I have no objection to the frequent reading of Narnia, but she’s young and she does need to read other things, too. So, I bought her a novel that I think she’ll enjoy. The bonus is that in 6 months, it’ll be in the house and I’ll get to read it, too. Yay for reading in my field and yay that my field is something that I’d actually like to read but would be embarassed to if I wasn’t a writer.
For reals this time, I have to go write now. Happy Holidays! Peace and Joy! And Merry Christmas!