Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Tuesday's Inspiration - John Hersey - Reasons To Write
Valid and non-valid reasons for writing a novel.
Here are the good reasons - A search for understanding. Not of oneself but that does figure in, but a desire to understand what and why something is happening. Mr. Hersey mentions War and Peace a book I've read more than once. This seeking to understand the influence of people on events and events on people can drive a writer. I think sometimes this is what drives me even when I'm writing of worlds invented for a story. What about you?
A desire to communicate. Writers often exist in a solitary world but they have things they are driven to say. Romance writers want to talk about happily ever after, mystery writers of good overcoming evil. There are any number of things a writer wants to communicate. What's your desire to tell other people?
Anger. Now this can work two ways. A great novel can be based on a writer's anger about some subject or some event impacting their world. But if the anger is done didactly the only accomplishment is to turn the reader off. Anger filtered through humor or with a light hand succeeds more than a preachy time.
So these three points are reasons that might draw the reader into the writer's world. The reader may be seeking escape or knowledge but they will read. What about the negative sort of reasons.
Catharsis. Pouring ones inner insecurities may turn a reader off. Especially if the unconscious emerges in long strands of thought and rambling moments.
Money If this is the sole purpose of writing a story it will fall flat.
So why do you write. I'd like to think what I'm trying to do involves the first three. How about you?