What Do You Write For?

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What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 20 Apr 2011, 09:14

Yes, I realize that this topic has been broached before. Yes, I realize that we may (or may not be) tired of discussing it. But sometimes I wonder if we don't need reminding of why exactly it is that we write.

Is it for profit? If so then I suggest buddying up to one James Frey.

Is it to unleash one's inner demons? And what better way than to imprison them on paper.

Is it for fun? Forget playing joyfully in the sunshine. No physical exercise for me!

Is it because we have a story filled with wonderful characters that we can't wait to share with the rest of the world? Silly dreamers.

Well, I'm afraid that makes me a silly dreamer who forgoes physical exercise in order to get revenge on those demons that just won't give it a rest already. Ironically, it was the money that first motivated me. I remember waking up one morning in early July last year and thinking "You know what? That dream I've been having every night for the past three years would make a terrific story! Think of all the money I could make!" But then any ideas of profit were swiftly swallowed by the need to just explore. I think that's what defines my reasons for writing best. I come up with a world and some characters, and the very first thing I do is sit back and think of all the possibilities. And you know what? It's fun.

I've come to the conclusion that I really don't care much about the economics. And until that day when I emerge blinking into the arguably harsh reality of the modern world I will continue to not give a rip, choosing instead to frolic in imaginary meadows with imaginary characters.

"Now wait just a moment!" you might say. "What about everything that comes after? What about editing? What about querying? What about self-publishing? What about all those empty soda cans strewn about this little cave of yours? When are you going to clean up and get a job?" That's a very good question, Mom, and also half the fun. One of my little quirks is enjoying the time when there isn't time, and just going by the seat of my pants. I figure if the imaginary world was good enough and the imaginary characters held my interest throughout then there's a pretty good chance someone else out there might enjoy the same imaginary experience. So why deprive them of it? Keeping my babies out of the slushpile means putting a tremendous amount of effort into them, but you know what?

It's worth it. If even one person can claim to have gotten some enjoyment out of my writing, then it won't have been a waste of time. In fact, as long as I had fun writing, my time will never be truly wasted.

I write to tell stories. But what about you? What do you write for?
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby sierramcconnell » 20 Apr 2011, 09:23

Well, at first it was because I was trying to get out of this job I hated. So it was for the money. Then a friend ripped me up over my writing and I couldn't write for two years. So then it was to get over that fear.

Now I want to write for the glory of the Lord. Because through all the crap I've been through, and for all the rawr I've been putting people through, He's never given up on me. Kinda like He doesn't give up on the people in the books I write.

Though it would still be nice if I could make a living of it, because then I could write more books. :d And yes, I've nudged Him about that. I think He thinks it's funny. XD
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 20 Apr 2011, 10:43

Well, I too have some experience with His sense of humor. And actually, I have a question related to this. What is your take on putting God into books? I myself don't see any harm in it, but I wonder if I'll lose readers (read: atheists) because of it. Granted, it is a fantasy novel, but some of the more hardcore atheists won't tolerate His appearances no matter where they are (believe me, I know this from experience).
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby sierramcconnell » 20 Apr 2011, 10:55

Fenris wrote:Well, I too have some experience with His sense of humor. And actually, I have a question related to this. What is your take on putting God into books? I myself don't see any harm in it, but I wonder if I'll lose readers (read: atheists) because of it. Granted, it is a fantasy novel, but some of the more hardcore atheists won't tolerate His appearances no matter where they are (believe me, I know this from experience).


I dunno. I think I'll lose more Christians than atheists. XD

My take on God is that He's an amusing guy. He's fun. He's knowledgeable, loves to play chess, can sort of get under your skin and forgets that He has the power to do so with just a few words. He loves His children and being with them, which is why He so frequently takes the form of a simple servant boy with dark skin (boy is that going to get me in trouble, too, though it's not that dark, no, He's Lipernese, my own brand of servant) with a thick head of curly black hair. It's mostly to hide the glow of His holy power, but also because He loves to see how people treat something seen as low.

But He loves a lot. He angers only when people do wrong, and He tends to get a little carried away with His lessons. And they are harsh at times. The entire first book is a culmination of terrible things that could have been avoided had one person just prayed for forgiveness.

Which gets Him a cupful of tea in the face, but meh. He saw it coming, after all. :d

In the end, God is Love, but you have to be willing to follow Him and listen to Him. If you don't, that's what gets you into messes.

I don't see Him as anything else but just another character. He's very powerful, but He doesn't use it, because He doesn't have to. ;3
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Falls Apart » 20 Apr 2011, 11:22

I've never been able to exactly write about God per se. But I do write to glorify Her, because, as a Catholic, that is (or should be) why I do everything. My beliefs do have an influence over what I write, but I like to think that I inspire readers to ask questions rather than giving them answers. And as for making God a character? I could definitely never do that--I like anti heroes way too much. Somebody Who's omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent? I'd keep feeling the need to add some flaws, which would be kind of missing the point. But I really do like sierramcconell's take on God. Very intriguing :)
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby sierramcconnell » 20 Apr 2011, 12:02

Falls Apart wrote:I've never been able to exactly write about God per se. But I do write to glorify Her, because, as a Catholic, that is (or should be) why I do everything. My beliefs do have an influence over what I write, but I like to think that I inspire readers to ask questions rather than giving them answers. And as for making God a character? I could definitely never do that--I like anti heroes way too much. Somebody Who's omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent? I'd keep feeling the need to add some flaws, which would be kind of missing the point. But I really do like sierramcconell's take on God. Very intriguing :)


Thanks! I also write for Jesus and the archangels, too. Jesus is fun because he's so loving and kind and peaceful, and he dresses so well (I often refer to him as Banker!Jesus, only with rolled up sleeves and a pulled down tie). Michael is extremely laid back despite his power, like a big brother type, and lemme see...Raphael...he's more of a bookkeeper type, though he's also very brotherly.

In fact, most of the angels have a very family oriented sort of mode...they're loving and kind, but don't threaten their family. XD

At first, I too was very nervous at writing them, but it came easier with time. :3
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 20 Apr 2011, 13:01

I'm glad it comes so easily to you, Sierra. I guess I just need to get over my fears and just do it!

The way I portray God is quite similar, though more distant. There are very few scenes that just feature Him and another character talking or doing whatever. He's typically more of a background character, though an important one as He's essentially the ship's anchor (so to speak). When we do see Him though, He is kind and loving, but still stern. For example, he spares one of my MCs for disobeying Him because he did so out of love. The character is still punished, but not as harshly as he might have been--and the curse sets up the events of the rest of the series (or at least alters them rather drastically).

I don't plan on making Him a very forefront character, mostly for the reason Falls Apart mentioned: He's just too powerful. Granted, most of my characters are approaching god level anyway (lowercase 'g,' very important), but they're up against a similar sort. One flaw I do give Him is that He does things out of curiosity. He's content to sit back and just watch His Creation go to work, even going so far as to swear never to get involved in it (that's the oath He has to break because of the character mentioned above, and the reason for that character's punishment). He sees everything as one big experiment, which leads to some frustration on the part of the MCs, to whom everything is much more real.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby sierramcconnell » 20 Apr 2011, 13:13

Ah, one of the things I have to be very careful with is the rule of "God does not lie".

No, never.

And if the Angels lie, their tongues burn as if they've swallowed acid. So you can tell they're lying because they're physically uncomfortable. And the more they lie, the worse it gets.

So working around the lying part is interesting. God never lies, but He often tells the truth in interesting ways. Or He tells it knowing you won't believe Him, and then laughs about it because He knows you won't!

Such as, "Oh, well, I'll simply let the world kill you." [dead pan] "Oh! That look on your face is priceless. I love you so much."

He didn't lie, because technically it's true, but you didn't believe Him because He laughed at your disbelief. He uses human ignorance a lot. XD

Such a tease that God. :D

Carmine actually, at one point, tells his friend Thomas he thinks God is a homosexual because he acts too happy, smells of flowers, and was entirely too hands on. (Patting his hands and touching his cheek and such. But it's because God loves Carmine a lot more than most, being that Carmine is a favorite of His in the book.)

Ah, it's fun. He's cute. XD Unless angry. And angry Asher (what He chooses to be called on Earth) is calculating and happy, and you should run. Fast.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 20 Apr 2011, 16:04

Well, I can't really let God lie in my novel either (as it's kind of a fundament for Him and all), but in this case He meant to uphold the oath but was forced to break it because otherwise His enemies would overwhelm an entire world. Plus He did it out of pity toward one of His most faithful servants. So it wasn't really lying per se, it was just being forced to eat His own words. There is a slight difference, at least from my perspective.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Cookie » 21 Apr 2011, 06:43

I write because if I don't my head will explode.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 21 Apr 2011, 07:50

Cookie wrote:I write because if I don't my head will explode.


Mine felt awfully close after three years of the same series of dreams. Granted, the Harbinger series has come a very long way since then, but those dreams still formed the groundwork. Getting the ideas down on paper helped a lot, so I think we're in the same boat here.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Guardian » 21 Apr 2011, 09:59

I write, because I love to create worlds, polish the details and foremost, I love to tell stories. However CSA is an exception as it has a different reason (Other than the mentioned ones.).
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Beethovenfan » 21 Apr 2011, 13:28

Writing is freaking addicting! My friends all complain of their annoying Diet Coke addictions. Me, it's my writing. Once I'm into the plot and in the thick of the writing I just want more and more. I think that's why I get SOOO upset when I come to a block and can't seem to get my ideas out there. I NEED my daily fix!
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Fenris » 21 Apr 2011, 16:19

Beethovenfan wrote:I think that's why I get SOOO upset when I come to a block and can't seem to get my ideas out there. I NEED my daily fix!


I get that too! I'll be plowing through and all of a sudden I just hit a wall. For me it's usually: I know what has to come after the section I'm about to write, but for some reason I can't connect the dots properly. The only way to fix it is to just take a break, but I never want to.
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Re: What Do You Write For?

Postby Rosie Lane » 22 Apr 2011, 01:01

Writing first drafts is fun. Writing short stories is fun. Shooting for publication, that's for money. Revisions and crits are slow and painful, rejections are worse, and there's no way I'd be enduring them if it wasn't for the outside chance of propping up my underperforming endowment mortgage a little bit. I'd just be posting stories at fictionpress and enjoying the review fuzzies.
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