Part of the reason I started writing fiction again is because I love it. It’s not like other stuff I loved when I was younger, but would rather leave back in the past, like spiral perms and neon socks. It’s just as enjoyable now as it was back then, actually moreso because I suck at it a lot less now.
The other reason I started writing fiction is because I wanted to write books I would enjoy reading. I sort of shamelessly stole that line from Michael J. Sullivan, but it’s true, so I’m going to borrow it. I’m in this for a good time. I write stories that I’d like to read because, not surprisingly, those are also the most fun for me to write. Let’s be honest. If I were writing for the money, this would be the crappiest part time second job ever. It’s taken me four months to earn $10. So I may as well write what I like.
Taste is personal and subjective. I like fast-paced, humor-laced science fiction and fantasy. I don’t need an intimately detailed description of the primordial forest. Like most readers, I have a good imagination, and “primordial forest” and a few telling details get me where I need to be from a description standpoint. When I’m reading a story, I want two things:
- I want to know what happens next.
- I want to have an emotional reaction to what I’m reading.
Not everybody enjoys that kind of book. Judging by what I see on the shelves at Books-A-Million, some people need lush descriptions, or detailed world-building, or lots of political intrigue, or graphic and frequent sexytimes scenes. Some people need epic themes or to feel like they are probing the depths of a character’s tortured soul. Some people require their fiction to obey the laws of physics.
Like Cindy Lauper, this girl just wants to have fun.
I recently read Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. Which is a kind of long title, but whatever. (I’m sure you can’t imagine why a person trying to write an ebook every month wants tips on writing faster). One of the things that she really emphasized is that if you’re not being productive, a likely culprit is that you don’t like what you’re writing. If you don’t enjoy writing it, who is going to enjoy reading it?
I think that’s a decent point. If you’re dreading writing a scene, maybe it’s the wrong scene. Or the wrong approach to the scene.
So far, I’ve been viewing this experiment, and the stories themselves, as me inviting readers along on a fun adventure. It’s not the only approach to writing, or even the best one probably. But it’s the one that’s helping me keep going.
Have an adventurous day!