No cause for alarm, my title does not serve as notice to my fellow bloggers that I didn’t get my post for today written. 🙂
This post is actually inspired by one of my fellow bloggers. During our first week here at Twisted Writers, AJ Prince posted an interview with each member of this group on the day of his/her first post. You can see the interviews on her blog, For the Love of… which did a great job of giving you a glimpse into our differences and similarities. For example, I don’t think any of us are strictly plotters. Also, neither Jess nor I want a gravestone. We instead like the idea of a tree. The interviews are fun, so go have a look if you like. Have one of us in particular you need to know where we would go visit if we could, like right this minute? (Spoiler alert, I want to go to Hogwarts. She didn’t specify that it had to be a *real* place.) You can check them out here:
It was David’s reply to what fictional character is most like him that had me inspired for this post. Instead of confessing who we are most like despite our best wishes (like me), or flat out refusing to give away that information (Amanda), David said “I don’t think they’ve written one yet.”
I love that. Who knows what was going on in his head to prompt that answer exactly, but what spoke to me is that in this world where (arguably) it’s all been written before, there are still reasons to keep writing because some details, some worlds, some characters haven’t been written yet.
I read and write a lot of romance. Of course, the “Will they or won’t they” storyline isn’t new. Boy meets Girl and they have a conflict and stumble their way towards a happy ending. Not exactly revolutionary.
What is revolutionary is when a voice emerges that hooks us in to whatever story the author gives us. Jane Austen put pen to page, informing us that:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Readers for ages tuned in and flipped pages to see what would happen to Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Knowing that they would probably end up together in the end did not change the fact that their story captures hearts and her characters remain beloved by new generations.
Every time a reader picks up a novel with a romantic theme, for example, since that’s my genre, it’s a great possibility those characters will end up together, but it doesn’t diminish the tension that we feel hoping that all will get resolved. Will Katniss choose Peeta or Gale? Or neither? And will she, or they, even survive? I didn’t know, I had to keep reading those Hunger Games books to see! (Just a note here, I am emphatically Team Peeta, though the actor who plays Gale, a/k/a Thor’s brother, makes that a little harder on me now that there are movie versions of the book characters I love.)
Every genre has its tropes and most all books and stories have something that has been done before in some way or other. What hasn’t been done, though, is seeing those similar stories done in your context, with your characters, and in your voice.
David said he didn’t think a character had been written like him. It’s quite possible that there isn’t, because he is unique (and awesome by the way). The possibility of seeing a part of yourself in a character you read, or recognizing some aspect of your life in the story you are reading is part of what keeps us reading. There’s comfort in knowing we are not alone. Equally, it’s encouraging as a writer to know that there is the possibility of reaching a reader with something we have written. Knowing there is the possibility a story line, or line of text from something we write will resonate with a reader is part of what keeps us writing.
So remember as you write that there may be someone out there who hasn’t yet found that character that is just like him/her. Feel encouraged that what you write may strike a chord with someone in a way nothing has before. Trust that even with your simplest words on the page, someone may connect with them in a way you wouldn’t have imagined.
Just keep writing, because “it”, that something that will be special to someone who reads your work, hasn’t been written yet. And you must write it!
Have a great week!