One of the things that fascinates me about other writers of fiction is that we all approach the task differently.
Among carpenters, electricians, scientists, historians there are basic rules and guidelines governing their professions. Whereas the best writers of fiction make their living by breaking the rules – their own and other people’s. Across all the different genres within the broad category of fiction, writer’s livelihoods depend on uniqueness. They must step outside the usual boundaries in order to bring freshness and originality to the stories they have to tell. Sometimes it’s this freshness itself that will highlight an age old truth for a reader. Fictionalising reality often gives it a deeper meaning.
In all the world, it is said, there are only seven tunes. The rich variety of music available in all cultures comes from variations on those tunes. In fiction there are even less basic plots. And yet, from all over the world we have thousands of ‘new’ stories being told in movies, plays, poems and narratives each year. Why are we still writing them? Because telling our own stories is such an integral part of our human nature that we could not stop, even if we wanted to. So we have to make each one uniquely different. To make the story interesting we create a word-play between what is revealed and withheld. We draw the reader in to the story using suspense, humour, anxiety, laughter. We create new worlds with their own sets of rules and invite our readers in so that, together, we can break those rules all over again.