The Inner Ideal

Writing fiction is a process of a writer (an imperfect being if there ever was one) striving to capture a particular vision inside his or her brain and putting it down on the page. Inside their own minds, they have a sense of what they want to convey with the story they're telling (if they don't, their story will sort of float around, directionless, until they settle on that sense and then go back and rewrite as if they knew what they were doing all along). The main struggle, besides sitting down and actually writing, is transferring their perfect little vision from inner ideal to something that lives and breathes on the page and people will actually want to read.

When I started writing, about fifteen years ago, I took it for granted that this transference automatically happened if you, you know, edited enough. But, alas, editing is not enough. You have to be honest, too. You need to write what interests you, not what you think is going to sell (not that people don't do that all the time and often sell crap to the crapateers). The big change in my writing, the point it moved from apprentice to professional, came when I finally wrote something that was as dark and wicked as my heart (as it stood at that time). It's hard to be constantly honest in your work and it doesn't always happen, you can slip and go the easy way at any minute, and people aren't exactly going to ask you to come round and watch their small children. And there's a chance you'll alienate your readers (if you're lucky enough to have readers). But what the hell? Being honest is the only way your going to create something that even approaches the vision you have in your mind.

And who wants to spent their lives babysitting the comprimised?


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