I know I’ve had a lot of posts on writing and on my writing. Be patient with me – having an editor of a small e-magazine tell me he loved my story and may give me 250 dollars for it is a matter of little consequence to folks like Mr. Wright or other professional writers, but to a twenty-something college student who’s been writing since before he was ten (my own version of the Gingerbread Man, an “I, Spy” book, and a book called “”Blue Bear” that I basically took directly from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle) it’s the validation for my craft I’ve always dreamed of getting, small as it is.
And I recently told the story of the teacher who was oh-so-proud he managed to convince a student he subconsciously didn’t care about poor people and successfully steered that student away from “The Lord of the Rings”. This got me thinking about the topics I want to write about.
I’m not, and never have been, interested in writing novels that tackle trite themes like “diversity is important”, “we should help the poor”, or love triangles and the “perils of teenage life”. I am willing to include all such things in my stories, even the diversity one to a very limited extent (“Opera Vita Aeterna” in one sense had a diversity angle to it), but they will never be the main focus.
I’m much more interested in the important things – the really important things, not the self-absorbed claptrap much of modern literature has become, or nihilistic despair-filled preaching. I want to write about truth, beauty, honor, sacrifice, love, hope, friendship, bravery, charity, and sometimes even faith.
So my stories will always be considered “inferior” to the fools who write our AP tests and refuse to take seriously an essay that talks about the beauty and tragedy seen in books like “The Silmarillion” or “The Great Divorce” (which along with, presumably as I haven’t read it, Dante’s “Inferno” should stand as one of the great treatises on Heaven, Hell, and the afterlife ever written) but will take seriously an essay about “Ulysses”. I’ve tried to read “Ulysses”. It is obscure, self-indulgent, self-absorbed borderline nonsense. No wonder it’s considered one of the greatest modern books ever written.
Give me Tolkien over Dickens. Give me Lewis over Joyce or, God help us all, the narcissistic black hole that is Kate Chopin (which is unfortunate, as she has some skill). I’ll take hope over nihilism, integrity over adultery, and heroism over “Caring” any day.
I write about things worth writing about. Whether my writing is any good is a matter for readers to hopefully, one day, decide.