Friday, October 19, 2012

What Do You As A Writer Bring To The Page?

I write fiction steeped in religion, mystery, and the paranormal. I write memoir, and thrillers, and offbeat quirky women’s fiction. And, God help me, I write Christian fiction mixed with horror. But I also write romance. A hopeless romantic, I have discovered sparks of love and lust in the whitest of ashes, the darkest of night skies, and within the deepest oceans of despair--and lived to write about it. Romance is the buttery, rich frosting inside my novel, Televenge.

I find most writers cross genres at some point. We do ourselves a great injustice to pigeonhole our writing into one solitary category, and yet … it is for the love of romance that I find myself driven to write this particular series of posts.

“It is not merely enough to love literature if one wishes to spend one’s life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possibility of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear.” Harlan Ellison.

The all-too-often question asked of many of us is this. “Why do you write?” I’m sure you’ve got your standard answer. One that will satisfy your listener. But I’m going to ask you a different question. “What do your bring to the page?”

As a writer, I've often wondered what do I offer my readers? What do I have to say that anybody wants to hear?

Some write lofty volumes of prose, delivering profound messages, soothing to the ears. Some keep you spellbound with intrigue or humor. And then some carefully perfect the craft of curling the hair on our neck as we quickly turn the page to discover the killer. There are writers who can transport us to exotic places we’ve never seen, and hold us there.

Is there a writer who you have read recently, or years ago, that you remember vividly? A writer who created characters that still linger and come to your mind at the strangest times. A writer whose novels haunt you for days, weeks, years? A writer who consistently moves you like few others? What in their voice gives them the edge? What common thread weaves their unforgettable stories to the cloak of your memory? How do they do it?

Besides constantly polishing your writing craft and striving for the title of great storyteller, I'm finding there's another element to this writing thing we do.

How do you share knowledge, life experiences, and enlightenment within the context of a story?
How do you make it matter to your readers?

I’m going to talk more about this in the coming days … be prepared to think.

Blessings to  you and yours.

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