10 Things I Love About Writing
Firsts in Fiction
10 Things I Love About Writing:
- (Aaron) Building worlds: My Hand of Adonai series takes place in Alrujah, a fictional world of my design. When coming up with the idea, I researched different fantasy novels and films, studied maps, played with what was possible within the genre. The resulting world is fun and terrifying. I really appreciate the process of world-building.
- (Alton/Pops) Exploration. Fiction is exploration with imagination being a sailing ship, submarine, rocket ship, cattle ranch, whatever. Creating story allows me to go anywhere, be anyone, experience anything. Through my novels I’ve been to a hospital where patients are miraculously healed, searched for the Ark of the Covenant, been a doctor, a mayor, a pastor, a structural engineer, a college football player, a (ahem) woman, an NSA agent, an astronomer, a Navy captain, and more. Sometimes I think I became a writer so I could play pretend as an adult.
[Short story I read about why girls play with doll.]
- (Aaron) Meeting really awesome people (characters): Erica is my favorite. I like Veronica, a walk-on character who stole my heart and became a major part of The Bargain. These are people with fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking stories. Sharing their hope and fears with them is invigorating.
- (Pops) The education. No one writes a story without learning something. I did a flash fiction piece about a Navy cargo plane that crashes in the Antarctic. I had to learn about military aircraft of the 1950s, Antarctic, research stations all for a 1000 words tale.
- (Aaron) The process of discovery: I like not knowing where my novels are going. I know enough to get to the next point, but sometimes my characters surprise me and take the stories in directions I never imagined, which reveals more about who they are. I love this process of discovery.
- (Pops) The emotional thrills and demands of creativity. Balancing art with craft. Trying to make the next work better than the last work. Struggling to be unique in my storytelling.
- (Aaron) Meeting really awesome people (at conferences): These are the real people who get me. Other writers who are passionately devoted to improving their craft. These people are my people, and I’ve met some long-time (life-time) friends here.
- (Pops) Problem solving. Every tale has its own set of problems and challenges. Solving those problems with skill is a challenge. Plots have plot holes. Characters want to be something other than you planned. New twists come out of nowhere, even for those who outline. Sometimes, writing fiction is more wrestling than composition.
- (Aaron) Falling in love, soaring high on feathered wings, climbing mountains and delving deep beneath the surface: I get to do it all when I write. This process of specific, guided imagination is about as close to VR as we’ll get. Even better, really. I create worlds, explore them, and am constantly surprised by my creations. There is no substitute.
- (Pops) Maturing into a better writer. Every story, especially every novel, is a college education. Some lessons are easier to learn than others. There is odd mix of regret and joy in finishing a book, then saying, “I can do better.” My old saying: “I’ve written about scores of books. Someday I hope to write a good one.”