Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ordinary Things

From the Speakers: SATELLITE by P.O.D

A while ago I said I don't like to write about ordinary people doing ordinary things. Here's why.

First of all, I've always thought of writing as an escape from reality. I grew up in rural North Carolina--there wasn't much to do if you didn't have an imagination. As a middle schooler, just learning to ride the lawn mower on the weekends, I pushed the throttle to the max and pretended I was a pilot. One of my favorite stories came out of it.

So if I write about ordinary people doing ordinary things, where's the escape? Where's the imagination? In college, SO MANY of my peers and instructors wanted stories about normal people having relationships with other normal people. My feeling is that I see so much of this in real life, it would suffocate me if I transfered it over to my fiction. It was all so LITERARY. I wanted to slap them and say, "Who wants to read this? I can just sit on a bench in a crowded mall and see this story take place." Again, where's the imagination?

Not to say the people who write these stories are stupid. Frankly, it's probably harder to write these stories interestingly, and a lot more work, and a lot more editing. So many of these stories have been written that it's tough to make a new one good. In my opinion, these writers could put all that energy and work to better use by writing something with a bit more spice.

Thus, I write and read genres like fantasy and science fiction, westerns, and mysteries. I especially enjoy mixing these genres--my story Good Business, With Guns (see sidebar for link) is a western set in the future, on another planet--because I feel it's a great way to come up with something new and exciting.

So: ordinary people doing ordinary things? No thanks. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things? Absolutely, I'll try it out. Extraordinary people doing extraordinary things?

Now we're talking.

PS--Special thanks to my fellow writer Milo James Fowler, who gave me the tip about showing the books I'm reading over there on the left. Check out his stuff!

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