Thursday, August 23, 2007

who writes what

First off, if this post makes no sense I'm blaming the heat. The Midsouth has left the good old USA and taken up residence in a Jenn air convection oven. I swear. As I told Kaycee on Sunday, the heat has poached my brain.

I was meandering through Target yesterday as I'm apt to do when the oldest is at her music lesson. Of course I wandered back to the book section. I always like to see which books Target has selected for their special stickers. A few random thoughts struck me as I read book cover after book cover ranging from Jodi Picoult to Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Why do we write what we write? I'm not sure if I've ever truly thought about it. I'm not or will I ever be a writer of literary fiction. It just isn't in me. I'm not sure if it is because I'm from the Midwest, grew up in a two parent household, had a happy childhood, married a good man, remained married to him, have three healthy kids or have managed to live a life of moderation. Maybe it's because I'm a product of Catholic schools....who knows!

Now, I read a ton growing up. I was given free rein to read whatever I wanted to. No censorship in my house. I toted John Jakes "The Bastard" off to St. Jude's and gave Sister Katherine Delores a reason to phone my mother. But usually, fantasy books were my stories of choice. Then I discovered Anne Rice. I launched into reading paranormal books. What do I write? I write urban fantasy. I can't ever see myself writing a story that doesn't have some sort of 'magical' twist to it.

Is that a product of my reading tastes? Or because of my very stable life, have I searched for a bit of edginess and that is where I've found it?

Last night after I went to bed, I tried to think of some 'literary' book themes and plots. I swear my brain started to cramp. To ease the discomfort, I switched gears and flipped on the old magical 'what if' switch and came up with a handful of paranormal ideas.

Are our imaginations just hardwired that way? Have you ever tried to step far, far away from your comfy writing zone and tried to write or even plot a story totally different from what you usually produce?

I need more coffee...and by God, the paper better be here by now. My brain is hurting again.


kaycee said...

Well, I know my brain is hard. Wired, eh... maybe.

Yes, you know I have tried to write different things. I have done historical, romance, fantasy, and mystery. I do the ones now that I enjoy the most, because let's face it, if you are not into the journey, why the heck do you do it? (see my quote, my blog by JA Konrath)

Here's hoping for some coolness. I think the first real day of fall weather I will start my summer vacation. :)

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...


I've been thinking about an answer to that question and my brain is starting to smoke.

I can think of very few common denominators which run through the majority of my writing.

I read literary, but I write genre. I despise formula, but I write in very structured genres.

Maybe I didn't answer the question you asked, but I think I may have answered the question: "Why am I not published?"

Liz said...

What genre do you write, Dwight?

Poor some water on your will stop the smoking.

I actually meandered through two sprinklers on the walk up to the school today. Helped me to cope with the heat.

Off to edit Maddy Blue..finished the third revision on Monday, and now I'm starting round four. I hate this part. Ick. Argh. Wah.

A Paperback Writer said...

I have a "thing" about vampires. I was terrified by a dumb vampire movie shown at a church Halloween party when I was 6, and I've stayed fascinated ever since.
When I was 11 I won a school contest with a story about a vampire named Count Briarcliff.
My first short story published was about a vampire.
My first manuscript to attract the attention of an agent is about a vampire.
Now, I read other stuff, and I don't even particularly like Anne Rice and several other vampire writers. But I do my best writing about vampires.