Sunday, March 25, 2012

Behind the Scenes

Throughout the years I've been writing, I've often been asked why my stories tend to be dark and brooding, why I put my characters through so many trials, and why things don't always turn out blissfully happy in the end. 

My response - that's reality.

Some of the things in my stories tend toward the fantastical, but there is always an element of reality to bring it all back down to earth.  Stop to listen to each other long enough and most will tell of difficulties, extreme heartache, deep struggle, and dark days at points in their lives.  These are the things I highlight in my writing.

So many times we want to skip over the painful experiences and just focus on the pleasant memories.  It's hard to go back and relive hurtful times at the hands of others or hurts we have inflicted.  But I've found that when we allow ourselves to go there, to reflect on those moments of shadowed memories, we can learn from the past, find healing, and help others who may be struggling.

It also helps us to see the pains of others.  Those who have hurt us have usually been hurt by someone too.  Even the most seemingly evil person has some redemptive quality somewhere in their life.  No one is beyond help if they only choose to admit their fault and accept the assistance offered - before it is too late.

Those who are perceived as good may not be all they are cracked up to be when you get below the surface.  Some who are truly good may make some bad choices that have terrible and life-altering consequences.  Then those perceived as bad may not be completely so upon closer inspection.

That's what makes my characters so rich (in my mind) because they contain elements of good and bad, elements based in reality.  They are mostly good people who make some bad choices and pay the consequences.

There's my joy in writing - getting to see behind the scenes of what makes each character tick.  It's the place where fantasy and reality meet.  And sometimes reality can be stranger than any fiction.


  1. I like to catch snippets of conversations when I'm in a public place. Sometimes people reveal themselves (or I PERCEIVE they reveal themselves)in ordinary exchanges with friends. More than one bit of dialogue I've overheard has found it's way into my writing, and helped develop a character. Can't say that those things I've overheard had a dark side, but, hey, I've been told I have an overactive imagination.

  2. Ah, but that's the joy of being a writer - that overactive imagination. :-)