Blog 2023

Walking Around Inside Your Writing

               There’s a lot I enjoy about writing.  I enjoy the characters I write (usually).  I like the adventures they go on and the things they do.  But I often enjoy the worlds.  Whether it’s some far-off alien planet, some magical time far removed from the modern day, or just a neighborhood with a really great bakery, the worlds are often delightful.

               People write for a lot of reasons.  There’s self-exploration and conceptual exploration.  There’s social commentary and sheer entertainment.  But sometimes, you write just because you want to go to a place.  They say ‘write what you know’ and, well, sometimes, what you know is that 1950s-style diners can be fun places to hang out.

               In my new novel (Rhest of Them, available this summer…I think), Rhest spends more than a few scenes in a 1950s style diner in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  Why is there a 1950s-style diner in a small town in the middle of nowhere in a book series that’s supposedly cyberpunk?  Well, because when I was in high school, there was a 1950s-style diner that was one of the cool places to hang out.  So I knew that, you write what you know, and there you go.

               I’ve listened to some writers talk about the struggle of writing and world-building.  And there’s a LOT of effort and work that goes into world-building, make no mistake.  But there’s also supposed to be an element of fun to it.  Why is there a cake maker on that corner?  Because you’ve been binge-watching The Great British Bake-Off and you’ve got cakes on the mind.  That’s reason enough.  Hell, you can even have less reason than that.  Why is there a cake maker on that corner?  Because you want there to be one.

               This is fiction.  And its your fiction.  Stay loyal to your voice, your world, your characters.  But also stay loyal to yourself.  Let your fiction take you on vacation to the places you can’t go.  Maybe that’s a distant country.  Maybe it’s high society.  Or maybe it’s Hong Kong during the handover from Britain to China.  Or maybe it’s the neighborhood you grew up in back when you were growing up.  Or maybe it’s a burger joint that has decent prices.

               Enjoy the world you’re writing in.

               And who knows?  It might just help you to enjoy the world you live in while you’re doing it.

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