Okay. For those of you who have stumbled onto this site (and you should watch where you’re going), I’m going to tell you a little bit more about my writing than what I already have on here.
Most writers have a concept of who they are when they write. It can be as simple as: I’m a Fantasy writer, or I’m a Science-Fiction writer. But it should, and probably does, go deeper than that. As with most things in life, the answer gets better with layers (think about it, jelly on a plate isn’t a sandwich). There are nuances to consider.
So here we go. The nuances of what I try to do (which is: write an awesome story).
I like to say that there are two basic types of stories that I write. One: extraordinary people in mundane circumstances. Two: mundane people in extraordinary circumstances. “Circumstances” in this case doesn’t necessarily mean what’s happening to them in the story (though that’s part of it), but also the overall tone of the characters’ lives. Using the examples of Snowfall and Amsterdam and the Murder Twins (if you haven’t read them—shame on you! they’re good stories). The Woodsman from Snowfall is definitely a mundane character in extraordinary circumstances. Amsterdam, on the other hand, is an extraordinary person in, relatively, mundane circumstances.
I like playing around with dichotomy (a division into two especially contradictory groups or entities). I like the idea of a normal, everyday guy like the Woodsman deciding he needs to take down the corrupt government who just so happens to have magic powers all by himself. Or the idea of a powerful psychic using his powers to be a private investigator, and having to worry about paying the rent.
So that takes care of the type of story that I write. Now on to what got this whole thing started: my writing concept. Here’s how I’ve come to see myself (you are free to disagree). I see myself as a pulp-fiction writer with way less camp and way more bite.
I’ve been made aware by my wife that that description of my writing is loaded, since pulp fiction tended to be exploitative to…well, just about everyone. To that I say: I try not to be exploitative to anyone in my writing. Douche-bags are douche-bags not matter what race or creed they are. And my heroes…okay, most of my heroes are douche-bags too. Maybe slightly less douchie than the bad guys since, you know, they aren’t trying to destroy the world/the universe/innocence/an innocent. My heroes aren’t exactly people you’d want to hang out with though (most of the time). I spread the douche-ness around is all I’m saying.
What I really like about pulp-fiction (and in this case I’m talking about the sci-fi and horror stuff) is the high concepts of it all. The planet spanning (sometimes galaxy spanning) threat that only this one guy, and he might not even be the best guy for the job, has the responsibility of overcoming it.
A lot of the James Bond movies are like that. Oh there’s an entire agency out there, but only 007 has the one piece of information no one else does, or the veracity not to quit one everyone else does, to save the world from nuclear destruction (it’s usually something nuclear in those movies). Or (and now I’m dating myself) The Mummy movies with Brendan Frazier. An ancient evil awakens in the desert and it’s up to the one dashing adventurer to vanquish it, even though he’s not terribly educated or well informed. Oh he’ll gather a rag-tag band of similar adventurers along the way to “help,” but we all know it’s up to him to defeat the evil in the end.
This is my point though, the stories are very high concept, but the execution comes down the old grit and hard work of those people involved. It’s just good fun. And at the end of the day reading is a form of entertainment. I want to write a story that someone enjoyed reading.
I hope I didn’t confuse people too much.