Stephen King said once, when asked why he writes what he does, “Why do you assume I have a choice?” Or at the least, that’s pretty darn close to what he said in his book, On Writing. And that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Does the material choose the writer, or does the writer choose the material?
I for one, believe the story chooses you. Or at the very least, the genre chooses you. I read all sorts of books, and all sorts of genres. But when it comes to my own writing? Fantasy and heroes have made their claim on me. And maybe a bit of spookiness thrown in, for good measure. To be super honest, I think the characters really came first. And they wanted to be part of a fantasy world. It’s the only kind of world they wanted.
So then, I didn’t choose what I’m writing. It was chosen for me. And much like King, I don’t have a choice. Even if I tried to change what I’m writing, I don’t think I could. If I did, it would likely be ugly, and horrifying. Because the characters know what they want, and where they’re comfortable. They just need me to write it all down.
Anyone else have feelings on this? Anyone else have a certain genre that speaks to them? Calls their name in the dead of night? Funny thing, though – I don’t read a lot of fantasy. Oh, I’ve read some Brandon Sanderson in the last year (he’s pretty amazing). But I’m just reading the Harry Potter series for the first time (yes, you read that right). My husband is on the fourth book, and I’m half-way through the first. Good stuff. But then you all probably know that already. So, did Rowling have a choice about what she was writing? Or did Harry choose it for her?
Everyone has to make their own decision about what they’re writing, and whether or not to remain true to it. For me, I’m staying true to the fantasy world of Pentallia I’ve created (or was it created by my characters?).