I love fiction. I’ve read fictional novels and short stories all my life. Fiction has occupied 90% of what I have read in my lifetime. So, why the hell do I have to fight to produce a piece of this genre?
What holds me back from diving into writing a fictional piece? It’s not that I haven’t studied the ins and outs of character development, plotting and settings. I’ve taken classes, I’ve certainly read enough manuals on the subject and I’ve followed a large number of the great fiction writers, past and present. So, what’s my problem?
Is it a lack of imagination? Maybe, but then why am I able to lose myself in a good book that is set in Hogwarts, or one that is populated by vampires? Why do I shiver with fear when reading a spooky story? Why would I cheer on the heroes or heroines and watch their struggles and triumphs? Why do I stay up all night reading a great “who done it?” It must take imagination to lose myself in the writer’s world, so I doubt that’s the reason.
Could the reason be that I don’t feel I can come up with an original novel or story, one that would interest the readers in the plot? Maybe, but all of today’s writers of fiction face that challenge, and I do so love a challenge. I know that I can take a story from a fairy tale, such as Hansel and Gretel and give it a new twist. I could write about two orphans struggling with a new stepmother, a scary principal of a boarding school, and add in a mysterious disappearance or two throughout their school year and probably do all right. So, I don’t think that’s a major roadblock.
You might ask me if I’ve ever really tried to write a work of fiction. Yes, I have and although the pieces turned out all right, I didn’t really enjoy writing them.
Wait a minute. Stop the presses. I just read that last sentence and realized what my problem is!
All writers must go with what they love to write about, and my love happens to be for the world around me. I believe that if you have to force yourself to write in a certain genre, your struggle will be obvious to your readers. I’m happy in this world and I feel I produce some pretty good stories…at least some of my readers think so. When I’m writing about my views, thoughts or experiences in life, I’m happy as a clam.
So, I bow to all of you past, present and future fiction writers. Forge on with your stories and take me away into your own world. I’m ready!
Now, have I given up on ever writing a piece of fiction? Nope, as I said, this grandma loves a challenge. But, at least I now know why I write in the genre that I do. I have a talent for it and I love it, and that’s enough for me!