Why do we who write, write?
Especially we who write fiction, why do we do it?
(I’m now considering myself a ‘fiction writer’? Based on one novel? Well, this is my blog so I guess I’m free to say whatever I want. More or less.)
Enough of that digression. Why do we write these made-up stories?
There are some usual explanations:
- We have no choice.
- To keep from going crazy.
- Because we are crazy.
- For the money (a clinical verification of one’s lost grasp on reality).
- It’s fun.
- Curiosity – to see what these characters in our heads are going to do if we let them out.
- To shine a light on a historical period or our family heritage or some unacknowledged issue.
Just having sat through numerous sessions at the annual International Festival of Authors here in Toronto, I’ve heard variations on all of these reasons from authors with a lot more fiction writing under their belts than I have.
Which got me thinking once again about why I wrote my novel Searching for Gilead. I provide one explanation in the preface “…my attempt to give witness to a series of issues with which I am grappling.”
There is some truth to that, more than a little, actually.
But I don’t think it’s the whole story. Another part of the story, I think, is that I wrote it because I couldn’t or wouldn’t or felt I shouldn’t give voice to certain spirits lurking in the dark corners of my soul. So the solution was to let them out through the mouths and actions of made-up characters.
That probably sounds terribly precious and pretentious.
But as I said, this is my blog so I can get away with it.
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Information on Searching for Gilead is available on my website at http://DavidGHallman.com
Searching for Gilead can be ordered through your local bookstore or on-line retailers such as http://amazon.com, http://barnesandnoble.com, http://chapters.indigog.ca, http://amazon.ca, http://amazon.co.uk