Musings on the Art of Writing

As a child, I discovered fantastic worlds created in books. When I began writing about the worlds of my own imagination, I realized how hard authors work to set their characters free to live for our enjoyment. This blog will explore that weird and wonderful process.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's in a Word?

This past weekend, the National Post had a feature where they asked various authors what was the one word they would use to describe/characterize their work. Writer's being what they are, gave a single word but then offered an explanation for why they chose that word. Over the past few days, I have thought about what word characterized my writing.


I think it's because I write fantasy that justice prevails in my work or perhaps it's because real life is not fair and by writing, I create a place where right always conquers wrong. The first tales I ever told were classic 'fairy' stories where good triumphed over evil (and there were never any fairies!). I was twelve or thirteen and had seen that life was not always fair but felt it should be. I still believe that.

I could have easily said questing or journeying feature prominently in my books which they do but my characters are always searching for justice as they travel through their worlds. Tarr wishes to save his people from the slavery that is the Black Pirates and Geri must destroy the witch who is laying waste to his land. White Crane defeats a dragon who is bent on wiping out her people and Sarah must save a fantasy world from the ravages of a disease created by an evil overlord.

I also write mysteries. Solving a crime is to bring about justice. The evil in my mysteries isn't as black and white as it is in my fantasy because the children solving the crimes shouldn't know hardened criminals or face the reality of evil in the modern world. I believe they can bring about justice in their own way without reality's harshness. Sam chases her thief and finds her to be an unknown aunt bent on making a connection with Sam's family. Mercy finds the Crusader's Cross in the hands of a nurse who doesn't want her master to abandon his pregnant wife to fight in the Crusades. Neither 'bad guy' is truly bad and their crimes are minor but justice is brought to bear by my protagonists. They make a wrong a right.

I would like to think that this is also how I live in my real world, too.

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