I refuse to conform.
Show, don’t tell!
Not too many characters!
Avoid using too much imagery!
Stay away from cliches!
Don’t be too abstract!
Not too philosophical!
Refuse to give in to what modern writers’ communities, and readers’ communities alike, keep asking me to conform to.
Call me arrogant, call me stubborn, or any other type of negative personality adjective.
But I refuse.
I believe in what I have to say. There is a reason for me writing the way I do. Changing my style feels like treachery, betrayal of my true self and what my true self has to say. I am not a prophet, not a Messiah who receives divine messages through the whisperings of an angel. But I do believe in the meaning, perpective and the form of the tale I have to tell. It is of the utmost importance that I stay true to myself. And so should you, if you are a writer. But that’s off-topic.
These days people get used to short catchy sentences, fast visuals and concrete, straight-to-the-point messages. Faster and easier to digest for a informational digestion system that is already being stuffed with information and either develops mental indigestion or intellectual diarrhea. But informational fast food comes at a cost. We lose the wonders of pondering, the miracle of discovering hidden truths, and the majestic rewards that can be given to patient readers.
What do I want to write, being such a arrogant, stubborn and demanding writer?
Fantasy and hopefully some wisdom, treasures of insight and life lessons, the reward for the patient seeker.
But even though I create my own world, have more or less unique races, and even use monsters, magic and many more of such fantasy cliches, I do not want it to be “just an exciting, action-packed story.”
What I want to show is the perspective of the characters, in a way that is much more profound, showing how they psychologically deal with all the events that, to me, in most other fantasy stories, just seem to be added purely for suspense. I want to pull the readers into psychological depths, not with difficult jargon and academics, but by begging their patience in following long trains of thoughts and related conversations that are so common in our daily struggles with life, but are mostly filtered out in modern storytelling. Not to bore the readers, but to offer a deeper insight into motivations, into the processing of traumata and other events, and into personal development – or the stagnation thereof.
I realize that much of this can also be done through “show”, actions speaking for thoughts, but I believe that it leaves too much to the interpretation of the readers – which in itself is not bad, it makes the story unique for every reader. I want to offer different perspectives, not just their projections, so the readers can really learn about the characters in great detail, and learn from them, live with them.
And, in a way, they will have the privilege of looking inside my head, as the writing reveals a lot about me. I am confident that they, by learning about my struggles and subsequent victories and insights, through the experiences of the story’s characters, can also learn how to deal with their own struggles.
At times I really NEED abstract, philosophical or flowery language, in order to make the read work, sweat and bleed, so that their rewards will be equally more profound, as they have to go into the depths of their own experience and intellectual treasures as well, if they want to be able to find an answer that makes sense.
It might seem that the storyline cools down to absolute zero, an eternal static nothingness, but that will only be temporary, as temperature is soon to rise again, allowing for more action and (relatively) fast dialogues.
I am not ashamed to say that I borrow cliches and tropes from time to time, because in my experience that some of the more noticeable ones became cliches because they touch universal truths and challenges, that mankind has to face in all ages, all generations. Like archetypes that stand out in the seemingly seemingly endless varieties of personalities and conditions. Of course, I try to be original and authentic wherever I can, but I will use both my own ideas and some (slightly modified) tropes to help my readers connect to powerful ideas, which are supposedly equally insightful and entertaining.
I write for readers who like to be challenged, especially young readers, as the main characters are mostly teenagers. I seek brave souls who dare to jump into the deep end of the pool of mental struggle, diving to the bottom to find hidden treasure, treasure that will help them find meaning, hope, and wisdom, most notable also their own (often ignored) wisdom.
I write for fighters, for those who want to fight for ideas and who do not take wisdom for granted. I aim at adventurers who LOVE struggle, who CRAVE storms and turmoils of ink and words in order to achieve inner calm and enlightenment.
I write for the generation that wants to believe in itself.