Another month, another writing course.
This month, I’m participating in a different iteration of Writing 101, which should help broaden my perspective on writing even further. On a related note, I’m also participating in the Story A Day challenge on Tales of Unusual Strangeness. Plus, there’s a lot going on at work, with new writing opportunities coming up. So, essentially, I’ve got a packed month ahead of me!
So here we are, on the first day of Writing 101, and the first assignment is to talk about why we write. Well, I’ve pretty much covered that in my About page, though I guess that’s more about how much I love to write than a concrete ‘why’. I suppose there is no concrete ‘why’, really. I write because I love it!
I write because there are ideas and thoughts swirling around in my mind that need some space to breathe. I write because I love stories. Stories about life, stories about people, and especially stories that go off on a tangent to what we would call ‘normal’. A steady diet of movies, cartoons, books, comics and video games has left me with a melange of characters and genres stuck in my head. Many of them are born from some work that I’ve recently been exposed to. Others spend their time steeping in different genres and plotlines before emerging as their own unique identity. For example, I watched Mad Max over the summer, and I immediately wanted to write a story set in a dystopian wasteland, with broadly sketched (but nuanced) characters and frenetic action. But I’ve also developed my own characters and stories, who exist as a sort of homage to all I love. Hard boiled detectives, superheroes, creepy ghouls and all manner of creatures.
From a very young age, I’ve wanted to tell my stories. I have, like many others, I’m sure, always dreamt of writing the next big popular novel. Then I thought of making the next big movie. Producing the next big TV show. As my tastes developed further and changed over the years, I developed a very strong love for the short story. Little bite-sized morsels that create an entire world in only a few words, introducing a handful of characters that populate it while leaving the rest of it to the reader’s imagination. A series of short stories can flesh out a location or a character without the bloat that sometimes comes with full-length novels. That inspired me to write my own.
Often times, I’ll find myself thinking of a scene, or a little snippet of a larger story. There was a time when I would mentally shelve that scene, saving it for whenever I had the larger story planned. But I’ve come to realize that the scene itself can be structured into a story, teasing something larger while being entirely self-contained. So that’s what I do. Tell short stories, creating (hopefully) fantastical worlds and populating them with (hopefully) intriguing characters who go on extraordinary journeys, while shining a spotlight on just one small part of the world. The rest of it, everything that exists beyond the borders of the story, is upto the reader’s imagination (or mine, if I choose to continue that story).
I suppose I still haven’t really talked about why I write. Though in some ways, I guess I have. I write because it is, to me, an extremely enjoyable experience. Spinning words into beautiful tapestries and displaying them to the world, with the hope that at least one person will love them, enjoy them, and perhaps be inspired by them.
I write because I’m a writer.
That’s all there is to it.