Three Things I Don’t Write (and Three Things I Do)
Jason E. Rolfe tagged me to participate in this exercise. (Well, I asked him, and he said yes.) Here are my answers to the prompt Three things I don’t write (& three things I do).
Three things I don’t write
1. I don’t write crime. It’s been years and years since I read any crime – some Carl Hiaasen, I think, 4 books quite close together, 20 years ago – and while I enjoyed them (more for the humour) the idea of plotting a heist or a murder or some sort of smackdown (see, I can’t even get the terminology right!) leaves me ... well, bored is too weak a word! Completely disinterested. I mean, the doing of it, yes, that would be OK, writing about the doing ... but the detective work and the piecing together. Yeah, spare me. Life is too short.
2. I don’t write non-fiction I have to research. I don’t even like doing much research for the fiction I write! I do, however, much prefer reading non-fiction, so it’s a bind. I love reading about things but to do so as “research” takes out all the pleasure for me. I do write non-fiction, but it’s really more memoir than straight non-fiction. There are many many many subjects I love to read about but I can’t think of one of them I want to write about. I have to write a 400 word op-ed column / article for my day job for a local LGBT newspaper, once a month, and it’s a struggle to write, which I put off and off and off ...
3. I don’t really write about money struggles. When I was a student and had no money, I’m sure I wrote about money issues a lot more. (Well, I might have ... I think. Although maybe in my head I’ve always had enough money, even if reality proved different!) A character of mine (Morgana Malone) had no job until recently. I wrote about her having no income but I didn’t write about how it affected her life. I just wrote that she had no money so she stayed home in the dark a lot, to save on power bills, but that was more about the laugh than the reality of not having enough money. Maybe my characters are very much First World people. Well, there’s no maybe about it really ...
Three things I do write
1. I write funny. I write fun and humour and about ridiculous things. Stephen V. Ramey recently wrote of a story of mine, it’s “a well researched hoot, with just enough veracity to make one wonder if maybe this isn’t all that far fetched.” I write about absurd things, to make the reader laugh, but there is a huge truth to what I write. Truth really is stranger than fiction, and the world is a far more absurd place than we like to think when we are trying to be serious and problem solve.
2. I write about sex because sex is absurd. Sex is messy and silly and stupid and often not worth wasting too much time thinking about but still, we do. We do that a lot. And I don’t get this man / woman thing about sex and thinking about sex and love versus sex. I think it’s a lot of shit. Sometimes I want to say, stop thinking about it, and just do it. Stop doing this male versus female thing and just accept we are all different and all the same. I loathe the inherent sexism in a lot of gender bullshit, so I like to write about sex in a way that’s real and fun and silly and enjoyable but not voyeuristic. Tell it like it is. I can’t think of a character I have ever created who would be afraid of sex. Although I could be kidding myself there.
3. I write a good list. A good list has a good rhythm and they can usually wring humour out of a situation so that works for me. One of my favourite authors is Ellen Gilchrist, and she turned me on to the power of the list. Most lists are funny. Even if they start out as serious, they become funny because their length is absurd. Plus, I live by lists anyway, in my real everyday living life. So maybe my love of a good list is just an extension of that habit.