♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you try more to be original or to deliver
to readers what they want?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
In college, at some point during my undergraduate studies (mid-late 90s), I recall a professor talking about originality in writing. There is no such thing at this point of the art. There have been lit theory books written about this. One is the Hero’s Journey. Of course, I wanted to balk at this, but I made myself listen. What are you going to do?
That’s what I decided to do. There was no arguing that every story, since the first stories written, has followed the pattern. I didn’t want to waste my energy arguing against it. What I saw was an opportunity to do a better job at telling the story. It didn’t matter if I was writer or reader centric, because my efforts could serve both.
For some reason, we humans are compelled to tell and retell our story. That’s okay with me. The hero’s journey may be recycled, but that’s only one aspect of the plot. It’s a small aspect, too. A loose guide, if you will. How the path is taken, and the details created to flesh that out are where the heart of individual storytelling is at. Some authors choose to find the trendy topic, while others will look for more creative ways to accomplish the storytelling. There are those, too, who seek to accomplish both. But predicting tastes is a hard job, and books take a long time to get together (when authors do their due diligence on a work). You might detect a trend, but find that it doesn’t pan out, or dies out, by the time your book is ready. You’ll have missed the mark. It is possible to take something you’ve written, and quickly revamp it to fit a trend. That’s why you see so many of the same kinds of books hitting shelves at about the same time. Part of that is utilizing taste-makers to guide trends, and then releasing your products to satisfy the buzz started.
So, I don’t worry about being original as much as telling the stories I have to tell in a way that I haven’t heard a story told yet.
Heavily influenced by popular media, I don’t think much about trying to please an arbitrary audience. I’m aware that I am not alone in my tastes. I’m part of the Marvel fandom, grew up with Henson teaching me everything about storytelling, read and understood Shakespeare (to a great extent) at a moderately early age. My favorite authors: Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, and Tolkien. I love watching true crime, paranormal trainwreck shows, and history documentaries. Horror and science fiction are my favorite genres of film.
That’s a list I am sure you can relate to. I’d love to hang out and chat about that stuff sometime. I love it! But, when I write, all of that is in me. I’m one of the audience members. Therefore, I write what I would like to read/view. I really don’t see myself as apart from those I write for. I am with them.
My answer to the question would have to be, I write the most interesting stories I’d like to read/view, but haven’t yet experienced in the way I would tell them. It’s my hope, as my career continues, that I accomplish my goal of telling compelling versions of the hero’s journey.
Please click the links below to see what the other authors have to say about this question. Getting different perspectives is a great way to develop your writing, or sharpen your critical thinking. I bet they have insights I didn’t get to in this post. Never stop learning!