Writer’s Craft #76 What do Writers Have in Common?
Your host, Lynda Williams, is the author of the Okal Rel Saga (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and editor of the Okal Rel Legacies series (Absolute Xpress). She also works as Learning Technology Analyst for Simon Fraser University and teaches a introductory web development course at BCIT. For a list of Okal Rel titles see: Lynda Williams on Amazon.com.
Last Friday I enjoyed a social hour with a friend, Donalda Meyers, and her husband Nick Faragher, the author of a collection of short stories (The Well). My writerly daughter, Jennifer Lott, joined us and at some point the conversation turned to what writers have in common. We quickly determined it wasn’t our approaches to plotting or outlining. Nick Faragher’s stories are mainstream (we debated the definition and applicability of ‘literary’). Jenny and I write SF. She leans in the direction of children. My readers are teenage and up. On the whole, there wasn’t a lot we shared. But there was. It was tangible. And it wasn’t just comparing notes about the editing process although I admit that’s a factor.
So what is it? My guess was the need to observe and interpret. Maybe to bend the world a little through the lens of our narrative. A dissatisfaction with life’s failure to explain itself adequately. Or maybe the obsession to frame questions as we see them. And, then, to communicate what we discover. To test it out on the world with some mixture of ego and courage. At least that’s how I remember the discussion. (For a less grandiose look at the situation, however, check out my other daughter’s youtube puppet show Living With Writers, in which myself and Jennifer are two of the three writers lampooned.)
What do you think writers have in common regardless of intended audience or genre? (Apart from annoying their families.)