Today was a good day. I lifted the spirits of a couple of people I know. I spent the afternoon writing, and will continue this evening. Some of my best writing comes to me in the late hours. (It’s really a pain when you have to get up early the next morning, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay to see a story of my own creation unfold on my computer screen.)
A lot of people think writing fiction is easy. After all, we’re just making stuff up. What’s so hard about that?
It’s not as easy as that. In order for a fiction story to hold together, it has to balance between fiction and reality. Swing too far one way, and you have a farce that people dismiss. Match the conversations too closely to how we really talk, or describe real life too closely, and you risk boring them to death with what amounts to a network news report.
Fiction is about creating something that’s not real, but that feels like it could be. Good fiction transports you, allowing you to live vicariously through the characters, experiencing things you might never experience otherwise (and that you might not want to in real life). Good fiction — like good movies — makes you care, laugh, hurt, gasp, cry and feel every emotion in between.
My goal is to write fiction that grabs you from the beginning, then takes you on a rollercoaster ride of experiences and emotions, until you’re left breathless at the end thinking, “That was such a great ride, but what happens next?”
That’s what I like to read, and that’s how I want my writing to be perceived.
How is it going so far? So far, I’m doing okay. But I’m not done yet. 🙂
This is the first of a series of posts about my thoughts about writing and the writing process. It may not be for everyone, but I welcome any comments or questions.
Am I an expert? Some would say because I haven’t published a novel yet, I’m no expert. However, I’ve been doing this for a number of years, and I would like to think my writing speaks to the level of my expertise. At my day job I’m considered the expert of many things, but really it’s a matter of knowing more than the next person, or having the capacity to question, learn, and apply new knowledge in different ways.
In any case, as with anything people tell you, you should accept what resonates to you, and put the rest aside. And there’s always the option on not reading this.