As the title suggests, I’m listing 5 top reasons why fiction writers write. Below I’m linking to a few great articles about writing starting with the interview of Ernest Hemingway given to The Paris Review. As well, please list your own reasons in comments if you wish.
Now, here are the top 5 reasons fiction writers write:
- We have to. Without writing we feel lost. I don’t know about you but when I go more than a few days without writing, I feel my wheels falling off, my shutters breaking in the wind, I’m fall apart.
- We have a story to tell. It can begin as simply as a little girl getting lost in the woods or be as big as how someone tried to kill Hitler. Whatever the urge to relay this story, it prods us on like a knife in the back and won’t relent until we get words onto paper.
- We feel the need to communicate in a way that other media does not communicate. Nonfiction fulfills a truth that needs to be told however much fiction out there does as well but the truth is wrapped in a story. The truth in fiction doesn’t rely on an action taken or events past, fiction’s truth relies on the interpretation of the author on those events. What is true about Hitler’s holocaust is that it was a horrible act by a brutal serial murderer. What fiction might find as the truth regarding the holocaust is how long it took several countries to respond to Hitler’s genocide. How wrong the people in power were to avert their gaze from the millions of lives lost until they could pretend no longer to see.
- Because of an injustice we feel needs a spotlight shone on it. A simple story about a child lost in the woods is frightening enough but coupling it with a truth about a child’s abusive home life gives the story fuel to run. It points at the abuser and makes the abuser accountable for the story being told.
- Because the truth of our story outweighs the reasons not to write it. I’m currently writing about a woman who is convicted of first degree murder and have been researching death penalty cases and executions. People are either for or against the death penalty. I am like these people–I’m either for it or against it. But the research is compelling enough to have spurred me into writing this story. The truth of the story is embedded in the circumstances that surround this woman’s case. The outcome will, of course, shine the light on this truth. And, yes, as I interpret the truth.
I recently read an interview of Ernest Hemingway and found his answers highly entertaining and insightful. In hindsight, you might be able to point to a few of his comments that directed his demise.
But, what I’m really wondering about is what makes you write?
The Paris Review interview with Ernest Hemingway: http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4825/the-art-of-fiction-no-21-ernest-hemingway
Here’s American Book Review’s “100 Best First Lines from Novels” (Thank you, Jason Pryde): http://americanbookreview.org/pdf/100_best_first_lines.pdf
Maybe you’ll like some of my opening lines too and you can find them all by Clicking Here!