Thoughts on Writing.
Talking to Lee last night, here are some things that I know:
- When you sit down to write a story, you should ask yourself “Why?”
- If all you’re trying to do is entertain someone, that’s good but probably not honest.
- If you’re trying to “make people think” by telling them your opinion, that’s not a story.
- Everybody hates the story that’s about rape or abortion or God or whatever–about one thing in particular.
- Unless…it’s a good story.
- What makes a good story is that there’s something at risk.
- Including your own opinion.
- If it’s a story that’s just your opinion, and you never make your opinion at risk, you’re just preaching.
- Even if you’re preaching that preaching is bad.
- Nobody wants to read a story about “God is good.”
- But people might read a story about “God is good. God is all-powerful. Evil exists.”
- There’s this Esther Friesner story, whose title I can’t remember, about abortion.
- She’s said about it, “People tell me they’re not sure after reading the story whether I’m for or against abortion. That’s what I was trying for.”
- So if your story is good versus evil, you have to make both sides strong enough to win.
- Or whatever.
- Because if it was a foregone conclusion, you shouldn’t have written it in the first place.