Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Why Do Writers Write?

I don’t know why writers write. I’m speaking of creative writers.

Speaking for myself, it is much more than telling a story.

Personally, I only know of one other writer. Hours have been spent talking with him. He’s a good man. To me, he tries to make sense of the world through the use of his stories.

At times that requires manipulation of the facts. What I mean is to arrange things to make sense of something. It’s like the baseball batting order in the starting lineup; batters are arranged in the order that their skills are most needed. There’s an old adage often quoted by fiction writers. “life doesn’t make sense, fiction has to make sense.”

Many of my friend’s stories follow a common thread; the downtrodden and oppressed have more to offer than what others are willing to accept. There is goodness and value in all. Give all a chance because there is value in everyone. Like I said, he’s a good man.

There is so much more to be written on this subject. And by people who are more contemplative and deeper things than I.

As for me, some of my stories are often fiction but based on real things experienced or witnessed. However, I have a rule. When I write a story it is best to be considered fiction as described in the first sentence of this paragraph. When I tell a story it is factual and truthful remembered.

My novel, The Desperate Summer of '62, is somewhat autobiographical. The first chapter describes a time when Rich Larsen ate at a restaurant with two of his friends at the same time they went to a movie. In reality, the time at the restaurant took place a year later. However, everything else in the first chapter is as I remember. The reason for this manipulation of facts was to give more context to Rich Larsen’s personal conflicts.

My meandering thoughts boil down to a question an old high school buddy asked a few years back. “Why do you write these stories, an alter ego?” Tough question.

Like many artists; painters, sculptors, song writers, etc, they try to reshape reality in order to make sense of it. They want to discover the beauty, grace, and elegance of life and existence in a more perfect way.

Yes, I know, that is not the reasons for many but those are mine for the moment and they can be shared by whoever wants them.

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