My Story’s Purpose

I finished up a round of books that are all deep with social commentary in the message of the story. They were great stories with such meaning and touch on dark spots on our human experience.

When I got the end I reflected on my own stories I’ve written and they seem shallow. Yet the deep, dark sides of humanity seem constantly in our faces with the news, conversations, and tragic events that happen all around us so why do I feel bad for wanting to bring joy, laughter, and light into the world with my creative works?

Do I want to take my religious/political/world view and bare it to the world by burying down into the storyline and make the reader’s question just what is happening in the world? Is that my purpose? Do I want that to be my purpose?

To be a writer, I want to be very clear about why I AM writing. Is it to entertain? To lighten another human’s burdens even for the brief time they read my words? Or do I want to comment on social woes and strive to make changes?

In the end, I don’t think it matter why I write. Maybe I’m just being too heady about this all and I should just write what I want to write and let the rest sort itself out later after I’m done with the piece. For now, I guess I will be content and get the story out of me and let the rest just be and not worry to deeply about it.

Finding the words & telling the story,
Melissa

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I Confess . . .

That there are many classic must-read books that I just have never read:
Emma,
Catcher in the Rye,
Don Quixote,
and so on.

Old book open, laying flat on a wooden table.(Image courtesy of koratmember FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
(Image courtesy of koratmember FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

To become a better writer one must always read. And I’m an avid reader, so why haven’t I read this classics that people always talk about? For one, everyone always talks about them so it’s not like I don’t know what’s going to happen in it and two, some of the truly older classics are so long-winded and boring that it’s hard to get through the book to harvest the great story. I really don’t want to have a whole chapter were all the author is don’t is explaining the setting. If the characters aren’t around to help break up the expository, why read it?

Yet I have read/scene most of Shakespeare’s work, loved some of the ancient philosophical texts, and an always interested in great pieces of writing no matter when it was written. Someone recently recommended a book by Georgette Heyer Frederica. The style was definitely different and the pace slower but it was a delight to read something that wasn’t the same old books that seem to follow out into the market today. Georgette Heyer though new to me started writing in 1921 and ended up writing over 50 novels and her first one has yet to go out of print.

So it’s not as though I’m against older books but the modern audience don’t want huge over loaded passages without paragraphs and over the top length descriptions of places (well, I don’t know about you but I don’t).

Is there any “classic” books that you absolutely loved but no one else has read?

To hunt of a new author (well new to me at least),
Melissa

Reading to Write

As a writer, I am developing a deeper love of reading; I know, I didn’t know that was possible either but I’m so glad to be proven wrong. So now when I read things I am struck by various writers in different ways.

Here’s but a short (and not the all) list of writers who I want to emulate as I work on my own stories:

Laurie R. King, in her Mary Russell series, has blown my mind in how she unabashedly wields her large vocabulary and complex sentence structure to reinvent and flesh out an older Sherlock Holmes in a new century.

Jill Shalvis and Richard Paul Evans in their ability to build flawed characters and build conflict between two people. (Though I’m not the biggest fan of romance, I’ll read Jill Shalvis material because she nails it.)

Jennifer Cruisie, Katie MacAlister, Jim Butcher, and Kevin Hearne because they are in rare form every time I read what they write. They are amazing story tellers but most of all they make me laugh. Almost any book I pick up from them is a treat and I trust their name on the cover will be a safe bet.

If I want to grow as I writer, I must keep filling my tank up with inventive, creative, and better writers than me. It’s also a great excuse to continually read more. I’m always on the lookout for other great writers and when I find them, I’m not shy about extolling their wonderfulness to others. There’s nothing better than recommending a book to someone and when they come back they have the same glint in their eyes that I have about reading another great story.

Do you have trusted authors that you reach for time and time again? Why? I’m always got an open ear for “undiscovered” authors, well ones that I’ve never read before.

To relishing in a great story,

~ the writer

Inflated Characters

Series are best read in order, period. I know this. Yet again, I failed to listen to my own rule and I read a book that was #4, without reading 1-3. Because of that I didn’t like the book. I couldn’t buy into the story line like you can when you first meet a character and crazy stuff starts to happen around them.

It seems no matter what series I read that if I don’t start at the beginning, I have a hard time connecting to the main character. Is it because the author doesn’t take as much time with developing the character in later books? Or is that the character’s world is so twisted out of normal that everything they do without knowing the background is seems over the top?

Whatever the reason, I shall now listen to my own advice and start with #1. Then by the time the main character is swinging from chandelier with two midgets, I could possibly buy it.