Happy IWSG Wednesday! I have a bit of a rant for you, followed by a bit of encouragement. Looking forward? I know you are! (rolls eyes).
I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and thought IWSG might be a good time for discussion. What is your story about? No, no, not the plot or the story you're telling me. What is the deeper, earth shaking, implied meaning that will lift me up on solid moral ground?
No idea? Good. It just astounds me how much time writerly types spend sitting around talking about this. (I imagine a whole lot of white haired men with glasses and pipes sitting around sipping latte's and pretending they don't live in their cars.) I really hate to see a story picked apart in these analytical terms. What is the morale of the story. How does this paint a parallel of this complicated societal question?
For the love of Pete people, why can't a story just be a story?! You know, a book... something you read for FUN. If I wanted to talk about politics and philosophy I'd go back to school. Gah.
One really good example of this- and this one really gets my goat- is when people start talking race/culture. If a book has too many white people it's picked apart. If it's got some cultural diversity...it's picked apart. What was this white author trying to say when she wrote this black character? Well... maybe it's some sort of huge moral dilema. Or maybe... just MAYBE the character just wanted to be black. I don't know how these analytical types write, but for me nothing is that pre-meditated. The story I'm working on right now has a main character with Japanese heritage. What am I trying to say with this? Nothing. I just dreamed up (literally, dreamed) about this character and this story and guess what- he's Japanese. So what? Sew buttons. (Sorry, worked a ten hour day and it does things to my brain.) He's a cool character. Interesting. ENTERTAINING. He just happens to be part Japanese. That's it.
Now, I'm not a published, best selling author. But I do read. A lot. The moral of THIS story: Write something to entertain me. Write a story I enjoy reading, something fun or in some way rewarding and emotionally satisfying. Do that and I'll buy your book. Write something just to make some sort of point, and you get no such guarantee. In fact, I'll steer clear of it like the plague.
Be yourself. Write your story with a sense of wonder and entertainment. Enjoy!