Why Do I Write?

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This question has been rolling around in my mind for a while, especially as I went through my AP Language & Composition class this last year in school. Why do I write? Or maybe the question would be, more appropriately, What do I want to accomplish with my writing?

I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. I have old notebooks with drawings and half-finished stories and stuff I wrote for school. Stories come to my mind, ideas, wondering “what if…?” and thinking of what people’s lives might be like.

Writing has always been a part of me. I write because I love thinking of stories, of characters, of making worlds and plots and delighting in how they all fit together. I can’t imagine life without writing (though I still manage to procrastinate it).

But as I attended my English class last year, new questions came to my mind. Should I be writing for a greater purpose? Is my writing supposed to accomplish more than just pleasure?

We read books–classics–and I realized that the reason these books were classics was because they talked about problems in our world. My teacher said once that “Many books come from exaggerating one idea or belief and looking at the results.” Racism, communism, class differences, scientific thought, and so on–we read about them. Discussed them. Thought about them and what needed to be changed.

And I began to wonder: when people read my writing, will it change them?

I’ve always loved fantasy, but I’ve never yet read a fantasy book in school. Is that because they don’t talk about world issues, or just because heroism isn’t classified as something the world needs?

Maybe both.

I love the idea of heroism–and I believe it is something the world needs. We could learn so much from reading The Lord of the Rings in school–strength, heroism, friendship, the battle between good and evil, the struggle to resist temptation. Isn’t better moral character what the world needs?

But that seems to be slipping away in books. It’s hard to find a popular book that doesn’t swear or have innuendos or bad scenes…or actually shows the consequences of bad choices.

We, as humans, are so attached to stories, and so the characters within them become our heroes. We want them to win. We want to become like them. Even if it’s not in very significant ways. Even if it’s just me wanting to be a little more selfless or a little more kind or a little more forgiving.

That is what I want my writing to accomplish. That is why I write: because we need more heroes in the world.

So my books might not become classics, and people won’t read them in school, but so what? I don’t want my books to be a social critique, I want them to be inspiring, to show that there is a difference between right and wrong, and that right is better.

What do I want to talk about? I want to talk about what true love really is or should be (not shallow, not instant, not physical), the difference between right and wrong and why, how emotions like grief, fear, and hurt can be changed to hope, how one person really can change the world, true friendship, forgiveness, love, truth

Yes, I do love writing about wars, dragons, fantasy cultures and religions, and fairy tales, but that’s the outer wrapping. In essence, those things are what I want to write about. I know that God has given me this gift of writing for a reason–and, I think, a love for fantasy. There are people I can reach and touch, and that is my goal: to change the world by changing people, one story and one hero at a time.



tell me!

Why do you write? What do you want to accomplish with your writing? Or, how do you think you might have been blessed to be able to change the world? What is your passion? Are there any topics that you think go unaddressed too much in writing? What is the strongest type of hero, do you think?

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The Rising Authors Tag

By my order, this week is decreed The Week of Blog Tags, in which I shall gift you with a blog tag each day (in an attempt to finish all the ones I have been tagged for). Therefore, I shall not tag anyone, else there be a multitude of tags. If you wish to be tagged, you are! Thus ends the decree.


I still feel like there’s a tag I’m missing…? But oh well. I can’t remember it so I just snatched this tag from Fin @ Spiel since she said anyone could take it. Thanks, Fin! It’s, obviously, about rising authors which sounds kinda like the zombie apocalypse with writers but I think it’s supposed to mean aspiring authors…? The really fun part is that I get to share a 150 word piece/excerpt of my writing! (Now I just have to choose which excerpt to post…)


Rules:
1. Write a post thanking the person who tagged you: include the tag, the 11 questions asked, your answers, and, in reply to the request for a small piece of prose or poetry, share a 150-word story.
2. At the end of the post, provide 11 new questions.
3. Request a brief 150-word story from the people you tagged.
4. Tag at least one person, and include a link to their blog.


Q&A with Fin:

  • What’s your favourite genre to write in?

Fantasy is what I’ve written from the beginning, but I’m working on an epic science fiction series right now, and I’m really liking it so far, so I like that too. I’ve also always wanted to write a fractured fairy tale (which I suppose could fall under fantasy) but have never actually finished one.

  • What are your favourite writing blogs, or writing websites?

My favorite writing website is definitely the Young Writers Program for NaNoWriMo–everyone is so friendly and awesome, and participating in NaNoWriMo is just awesome in general.

  • Give three pieces of writing advice that you’ve found helpful!

Ooh, hmm… 1. Have fun with your first draft and don’t worry about it making sense–just make sure to love it. 2. A good ramble about your own writing never hurt anyone, and can actually be really helpful. 3. Chocolate always helps.

  • Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you like to listen to? If not, well, why not?

Yes, if I remember to turn it on, haha. I usually listen to “epic music” on youtube, which can alternately be non-distracting background music or an inspiring fountain of story ideas.

  • Do you eat or drink while you write? If so, what do you eat/drink?

Hmm, not usually, actually. When I procrastinate from writing, though, that’s when all the chocolate and candy and random snacks come out…

  • Out of curiosity, what’s your typing speed?

I’m not sure; I haven’t taken a typing speed test in a while. I think generally my typing speed if I’m going as fast as possible is about 70 wpm, but when I’m writing it’s a lot less because I have to think. I think if I’m writing as fast as possible I can get to around 500 words in 15 minutes, which is about…33 wpm. And that’s when I’m trying to go fast.

  • Do you give much thought to your antagonist?

I haven’t really, before, but I’m planning on digging down deep into my antagonist for Enhanced (and hopefully, into all my other characters). I want him to be a realistic antagonist, so I’ll have to work on him for a while.

  • Do you write more females or more males?

Probably more females… I try to balance it out but I think I just end up with more females because I’m female and that’s who’s easier.

  • Which do you think you write better?

Females, definitely. I don’t feel like I have enough deep friendships with boys to be able to write them properly.

  • What’s your idea of a perfect place and time to write?

Ooh, interesting question. I don’t know, usually I just sit on my couch when I write, which is fine, and I think it’d be weird to write anywhere else now since I hardly ever do. And a perfect time? I actually tend to stay up late writing, but I don’t like it. I’d rather write earlier in the day when I’m better at thinking and will actually be able to get a decent amount of sleep that night.

  • If you could do one thing to make your writing life easier, what would it be?

I’m not really sure. I think part of the fun and reward of writing is the challenge of it. I mean, having no procrastination would make my writing life so much easier…but I think it makes me feel closer to my novels when I realize how much time and effort I’ve spent on them. Yeah, I don’t know…maybe I’d just tone down the procrastination a bit.


Writing Excerpt:

Since I was too lazy to actually write something new for this, and didn’t want to use something from the old Enhanced, I decided to take an excerpt of an excerpt I wrote for these writing practice things I was trying to do months ago. It’s the end of a conversation (well, argument) between Kai and Taira, and I doubt it’ll even go anywhere in any of the novels, but I like it, so I’ll stick it in here. (Oh, and feedback is always appreciated!)


Each of her words cut, and with them, a desire to cut her back burning stronger and stronger. “You’re the one who’s being insulting. You may have gone through some pretty terrible things, but that doesn’t mean you have to be rude to everyone else about it! You have a choice—a choice to be whoever you want to be, and you just chose to be bitter about it.”

Taira turned a cold glare back at him, but in those eyes, he could see the pain that he’d inflicted. She was hurting too, now. “You have no idea what I’ve been through. So you can just go now. I can’t believe I even started talking to you in the first place.”

His heart pumped, pulsing against the wounds she’d caused, blood spilling through him. Guilt pumping through his bloodstream. Realization pooling around him.

She didn’t hurt any less than he did.

But it was too late to say he was sorry now.


Questions:

  1. When did you first start writing, and was there ever any real reason why?
  2. What is your goal as an author?
  3. What writing project are you working on right now? What is it about? (Extensive rambling is highly encouraged.)
  4. What new plot bunnies have you had recently?
  5. Do you prefer wide-ruled or college-ruled notebooks? Trust me, this is a very important question.
  6. Is there any specific kind of pen or pencil that you like to write with the best when you’re writing on paper?
  7. Since this is the Rising Authors Tag, what heights have you risen to in your writing that you never thought you would? Also, have you ever been a zombie?
  8. How many books do you read on average in a month?
  9. Would you rather write a first draft, or revise one?
  10. Do you have any writing rituals?
  11. Do you ever put inside jokes or easter eggs in your writing? Tell us about them! Give us all your secrets…

Remember, if you want to be tagged, you are! If any of you do this tag, I’d love it if you’d post a link in the comments so I can read it! If you don’t, you should totally answer the questions in the comments. Especially the zombie one.

Research Tidbits/Conclusion – May 21st

The Research Week has come to its end. First off, I just want to thank all of you who have participated! Your participation has helped me (and others, I’m sure) do some research for their novels. More than that, when you submit your research to the RRW, other writers will be able to see your research and use it for their own novels as well! So, thank you so much.

Despite the Research Week being officially over, I think I’ll still keep researching for a little while, since I procrastinated I didn’t research all the topics I wanted to, and I encourage you all to keep researching as well. It is so helpful in making your writing realistic and believable, and you’ll just learn more!

Oh, and one more thing before I share my research-y quote and a little about it: in about a week, I’m going to make a post with links to all the research that was done this week. So during this coming week make sure to get all the research you did together and submit it to the RRW, and once it’s been added to the site, comment with the link(s) here. Then we shall all be able to look at each other’s research!

Now, for the quote:

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I really love this quote, because I think it describes what we do with writing in a beautiful way. Writing is realistic and unrealistic at the same time. Relatable, believable even, and yet fantastical.

Because when you write, what you’ve researched doesn’t have to be the truth. That’s what imagination is, that’s what writing is. You find the truth and twist it. You go back to a decision that was made and change it. You warp everything just a little, and immerse your readers in the magic that you’ve created.

Research, knowledge, experience, that’s the baseline. You need it so that you can have somewhere to push off from, a reference to look back at, but the beautiful thing about writing is that you can see it from a new perspective.

Research makes the story believable, and imagination is what makes it beautiful and interesting.

So when you look back at your research, try to “think what nobody else has thought”. Isn’t that why we write, anyway? To show a new perspective, to show how things could be or might have been.

It’s a beautiful thing, to imagine, to write, to share, and when that is supplemented with research and realism…you might even be able to change the world.


How has the Research Week gone for you? How much did you get done? What have you been most excited about learning? (I’m researching castles right now!) Tell me, why do you write? And don’t forget to share the links to your research once you get them!