Everyone has their opinions about the world. Most people tend to be pretty set in their thoughts. Writers are no different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Opinions are like faces: everyone has one, no two people’s are the same, and not everyone is going to like yours.
For many writers, the crafting of their work is the only outlet for their outlook on the world, their ideals instinctively being ingrained into the words and actions of their characters.
However, without opposition, there can be no conflict. Without conflict, therein rarely lies any remarkable story. To make a story truly complete, a writer cannot fail to delve into the opinions and beliefs of those that directly oppose his own. It is impossible to show a set of beliefs to be in the right without offering another up for comparison. Someone who is too set in his own ways to hear the thoughts of others is blind. Someone who is too afraid to face an argument that could put his beliefs in doubt or up for debate is a coward and not himself convinced of the things he professes.
I believe that a good writer cannot afford to be either of these things.
Exploring the world from every facet is one of the most important jobs that a writer takes on. It is our job to explore the places that others rarely go and question the things that others take for granted as fact. It is our place to turn reality on its side and ask the hard questions. What if gravity went up? What really makes the bumps in the night? What if the greatest world-held truth turned out to be an elaborate lie?
People may call us crazy, but we will see things that they will never dream of.
Think for a moment why you read.
Now think about the kind of people you read about.
Now think for another moment about why people write about those people.
Life for most people is boring. We read and write to escape into another room of the universe where there are interesting people. But the thing about imaginary people is that they are still just as boring as real ones unless they do interesting things. Yes, average or even weak people can make for interesting stories, but only if they are exposed to extraordinary circumstances. It can sometimes be therapeutic to write about such general day to day life, but no one wants to take the time to read about someone who lives their drab day to day life and never encounters any difficulty to overcome.
The best people to write or read about are the ones who fail, the ones who are beaten down, the ones who fall over and over and over again… and then get back up and do something about it.
The people who are worth our time are the ones who face down the dragon and get stomped on, but survive. They nurse their wounds into scars and then they hunt the dragon down and try again to save the day, even though it could very much mean their end.
Some people accept their dull, boring lives. Some people accept defeat as finality. Some people even fight their whole lives for a success or victory that they never actually wanted.
But some people take the plunge. They open themselves to the opportunity to fail. They fall. But that gives them the chance to get up even stronger, to change things, to make a good story. Those are the people who are worth my time to create.
One of the most liberating things about writing fiction is the ability to be completely honest.
Honesty is an increasingly rare and frowned upon opportunity. As a writer however, you have the freedom to say whatever you want about anyone or anything… and the beautiful thing is that no one even has to know.
This, I think, is one of the greatest appeals of fiction writing. You can express your thoughts or feelings on any subject, no matter how controversial, but you can literally invent another person to say it for you. You can show it through any situation that you can create. You can wrap it up in an analogy that people may never even see through. But you get to say it, and that’s what matters. That’s more than a lot of people ever get.
Your only limitation is your imagination and your ability to come up with creative and interesting disguises for what you want to say.
Then all that matters is whether or not you have something worth saying, because in the end, that’s what really matters.
I am a writer.
The characters I create are not me.
They are a part of me.
They are the part of me who is
They are the parts I hide.
The parts I wish to be,
The parts I have been,
And the parts I will be.
Every story is based on a truth… My truth.