Some people like to read about real life, non-fiction, biographies etc. Others like fantasy, sci-fi or historical fiction. There are more genres than I can count… well I have to admit I haven’t actually counted them. However, there are lots!
My son and I have always enjoyed sci-fi. When he was younger he read it almost exclusively. Over the years he has graduated to other genres, broadening his horizons.
Is there such a difference between all the genres? Fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, political…. The endless list. Are they all the same in some sense?
In some ways they are as different as night and day. In one sense, every story ever told has a similar thread.
The human condition.
Down through time, humans have the same basic needs, both physical and emotional. Food, shelter, clothing and to love and be loved.
So, whether the story is of a person who is or has actually lived, or a fictional character, the hopes, desires, loves, hates and the complexities of relationships remain the same. It is simply told in a different way. Even if it is in a “land far, far away” and / or “a long time ago”.
The idea of a personality ARC, where our characters learn and grow, mimics real life. In some areas of life we learn, mature, and change with ease. Other times we learn from “the school of hard knocks”, the struggles of others or simply out of necessity of survival.
Fictional character growth and change never comes out of nothing. As writers, our own experiences as those of the people around us, provide the basis. Even research into those who have suffered or experienced what we know our character has still comes from human experiences.
Putting our mind and heart as well as the shoes of our characters, we are better able to bring to life their fears, struggles, passions, anxieties etc.
Eons from now, the genres will change. Life will have changed. The Human Experience will continue to be the fuel to writer’s imaginations.
There are days when I feel like Mozart.
I watched the movie Amadeus many years ago and was fascinated to learn, he did not compose on paper. Rather, the composition happened in his head and later he simply wrote it out. Amazing!
I know I “write” in my head. I sometimes find myself laying awake at night having scenes from something I am writing play out in my head. Dialog and emotions broiling away and finally all coming together.
There are times when I have to get up and write while the picture is clear, before sleep fades and blurs the edges.
While I don’t consider myself in the same league as Mozart, I understand his need, compulsion to get the finished work out of his head. Out in down on paper. In his case, music!
The written word can be music to one’s ears though can’t it. When written in such a way as to move us, change us, take us away to far away places, then it can be, to our soul, just like the music of Mozart.
Don’t you just love a good symphony?!
I actually finished and edited my first noveletta. “The Gentleman Earl”
I know what you’re thinking….. ((Yawn)) please bear with me…
As we writers know, writing and editing are polar opposites when it comes to creativity.
Writing flows from the creative side of our brain, unhindered by the laws of grammar and popular convention. It oozes forth from our soul in its very basic form.
As wonderful as it may sound to us as it flits from brain to the page, at a second glance, in the light of day so to speak, all of its imperfections show up like dust particles visible by the sun’s rays.
We mustn’t panic. After all, this is not what others will see.
Let the cleanup begin!
So, creative brain may take a break, have a nap, go on vacation. Editing beast has arrived…
I know I’m afraid of that ruthless animal, running amuck in my precious fictional world. I have to remember: editing won’t destroy my work if it’s good. I have to believe that it will stand up to the ravages of the edit. If not, it doesn’t deserve to be out there.
So, let the edit begin! The clean up. Tightening the nuts and bolts that hold it all together.
There are a precious few friends and/or colleagues we feel strong enough to let see our work before all the polish is done. These dear souls are willing too endure our typos, grammar blitzes and other assorted imperfections.
Though we sensitive creative types do want some love, a little of that goes a long way. Tough love is needed as well. Tell us like it is! Help us grow.
So, critique away. I want to keep growing (as a writer anyway)
Once finished, our precious but raw first draft will shine like a diamond. All its facets polished to perfection and ready to be on display.