I am often asked, as I am sure many authors are, “Why do I write?”.
This is not a straightforward or easy question to answer comprehensively. In fact, if I were to answer that question in full, it would be an extremely long essay.
Which is the answer I gave a few days ago.
However, that question was followed by one which made me think, a question I was, at the time, unprepared to answer constructively.
“Why do you write in the way you do?”
This question made me think, beyond the basics of ‘style’ and further than ‘narration’ alone.
So, in the regular and rambling way I use in my blog posts, I shall attempt to convey to you my thoughts on this question.
They are as follow……
I do not write a particular genre of fiction.
Romance stories generally demand detailed character descriptions, a slow build-up of intensity to climax. (Excuse the pun).
On the other hand, Horror readers want faster-paced, less detailed, more action books which cut right to the core. (Sorry, I can’t help myself).
By not being a genre writer, I have not developed a style limited by the parameters of reasonable expectation of those readers.
Neither do I write for a syndicated publisher, such as Mills & Boon, who have strict plot and style guidelines and can drop any contributor in an instant, should their suggestions not be strictly adhered too.
I am a truly free, independent author.
I have written an offbeat tale of abduction and intrigue, which is also a romantic story, a tale of finding oneself and humorous yarn all rolled into one. It is ‘The Abduction of Rupert DeVille’. Available on Amazon, just click the link!
This book alone breaks all the genre-specific boundaries it touches upon.
I did not set out to intentionally break any rules, I simply ignored them all and wrote the story I wanted to write.
I have also published two collections of poetry.
The basic premise of each is human emotion. Fear, love, hate, anger, regret and so on. I like the challenges of poetry. The differing forms, such as haiku, present wonderful opportunities to develop wordsmithing skills that can be adapted to storytelling.
That is how I like to think of myself, as a storyteller, a mythmaker; weaving tales into people’s consciousness, making them re-think and to consider life and the world around them in a way they may never have done before.
My book collection, three volumes of short stories called ‘Tales of Crime & Violence’ are designed to do just that, to make the reader reconsider their point of view, to side-swipe their general conceptions, to come at them from left field and leave their minds floundering with a myriad of questions, questions they now find they are asking themselves. (Click the link)
That is what a great story should do. It should stay with you, lingering within your mind a long time after you have closed the final pages of the book, maybe even forever?
I have also written a children’s book and non-fiction stuff. Very different disciplines than writing standard adult fiction of any sort.
I am, at the time of writing this, working on a novel about an escaped psychopath. ‘Floyd’ is out on a bloody revenge spree against those who had him committed. This book must be considered a ‘Slasher’ type of story. It is a crime thriller certainly, a horror…in parts possibly, but not really.
Once again, I am writing what I want to write, in a way I want to write it. The style and narration I am using is unique to this book. It is not one I have adopted previously.
Which, in a long-winded and round-about way, brings me back to the original question of “Why do I write in the way I do?”
Taking note of the above (and remembering my independence), has allowed me to indulge in many experimentations with style, narration, pace, plot, POV’s and all the other ‘literary technical stuff’ writers put far too much emphasis on when discussing writing.
Each of my novels is written from a totally different personal perspective. Making each quite distinctive from the last. Even so, my personal mark is to keep an element of humanity, of emotion, of people’s dreams, hopes and fears running through all my fictional stories, even those involved with psychotic killers!
My short stories reflect those same values, the human passion for life, the experience of relationships, of desire and love, of living, of loss and of death.
I like to explore these areas of the human psyche, areas often forgotten or neglected by other writers and authors. I like to reveal them at a certain pace, a pace which suits the individual story being told.
In some I might come at you from the shadows, smashing into your mind like a train wreck. In another it may be an insidious creep, slowly weaving itself between your receptive neurons, until that is the only thing your mind can focus upon.
This is where the poetry and experiments with lexicon come to the fore; they allow me to use words as a basic material, melding and moulding them, twisting and forming them, until they convey to the reader, not only the description and facts, but the feeling of being there, of being within, of being part of the nether world where my story lives and, without doubt, to see, hear and feel the trauma, the worries, the excitement and passions of my characters as they stagger from one conflict to another.
You can read several of my short works at https://alittlemorefiction.wordpress.com/ I always have a few stories on this blog, although I do delete and change them at random intervals.
So, in brief, that is my answer to the question – ‘Why do I write the way I do.’
I hope you can pick something useful out of this.
Thank you for reading, Paul.