Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Writer in All of Us

We are all writers. 

We look at the world through our own special lenses.  There are things we see as individuals that nobody else sees.  People, places, events—nothing looks the same. We call it perspective. 

As a fiction writer, I do a lot of visualizing, picturing scenes of high drama as well as the very ordinary.  Sometimes these scenes make it into prose; sometimes not.  But it is all part of the process of composition.  I survey the landscape of reality and transform it into one of story and characters.  And through this journey, I am transported to a time and place of my own creation.  It's what fiction writers do, and in a sense, it's what all of us do, whether we formalize the process as writing or not.

Those of us who do not capture our world view on paper nonetheless "write" the stories of our times.  Each day is another composition about people and problems, and the way we would like things to be—the day to day experiences we all have that become our personal stories.  Unlike fictional creations, however, these stories often do not tie up neatly into organized plot lines.  They are sometimes messy, unsatisfactory accounts of challenge and heartbreak, with endings that taper off without any meaningful resolution.  These are our personal histories, biographical sketches of how the world succeeds or fails within the confines of our lives.  And the events and characters are very real.

The vanity in those of us who write believes we can draw on the compelling aspects of our lives and that of the world around us to make a story that holds the reader's attention.  We shape our plots and polish our prose to create something entertaining.  It is a work of faith.  We don't know how the end product will be interpreted.  But we do it anyway because somewhere deep down, consciously or unconsciously, we believe our story may strike a familiar chord.  Why?  Because some readers have lived something similar to what is in the story, or they know someone who has.  After all, fiction contains truth, no matter the genre—literary, romance, mystery, fantasy—it all reflects some aspect of life. As people leading real lives, we contribute to that truth. 

We are all writers.


       DREAM TRAVELER - Book One


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