Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fiction Writing (& Reading): My "Why"

So I mentioned not too long ago that I was going to start writing more about fiction writing here on my blog in the months leading up to Nanowrimo. I also shared a post on Megan's blog about writing creatively as a form of artistic expression. Today I want to address the reason why I read and write the type of fiction that I do so that you can understand where I am coming from in the posts to come.

I have no delusions of becoming some great, world-renowned novelist. I am not interested in making my way into what is considered literary canon. I don't hope to be taught in schools or have have critical essays written about my work. My hopes are that I can get my novels in paperback and sitting on the "scifi and fantasy" section of the Barnes and Noble shelves.

I read mostly urban fantasy, and that is all that I write. I love it. For me there are never too many vampire novels, stories of ancient witchcraft or tales of normal people thrown into supernatural worlds. Demon summonings, blood sucking, werewolves running under the moon, fairy pranks -bring it on. Seriously, I will read it. I will immerse myself in it completely and get lost. That's what I do.

I am an escapist reader. Books can give us so much. From them we gain insight, learn new facts, and can be made to face dark truths. But books can also just be there to entertain us. That's what I'm looking for in a book: the entertainment value. I want to leave reality and enter a new one. I want characters that make me laugh and get upset and make me want to throw the book across the room because how could they possible be so stupid and dense? Within all that there is of course an innumerable amount of things to think about and take to heart. There always is in writing. But that's not why I read. And it's not why I write.

Of course my thoughts on things leak into my writing. Writing is always, in some way, a reflection of the author. But when I write, I do it because I want to help my readers escape their lives and go into someone else's. I want to give them a world filled with magic and danger. I don't do long, philosophical monologues. My characters are not "average" people living "normal" lives. I'm not interested in exploring the inner workings of relationships in this world -I'm interested in exploring them while there are demons on the loose and an evil bastard to contend with. 

So there it is. That's why I read and that's why I write. All the posts about fiction writing that I'll be putting up should be read with this in mind. When I talk about characters and plot development and all that jazz, I am doing so in the context of writing for entertainment. 

So, fellow writers and readers, why do you write/read what you do?

Manda Rave

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