I write fiction and always have done.
Writing about ‘stuff’, topics, discussing news events and extrapolating, analysing, using critical skills, is what I do for work and quite frankly, I would sooner not be doing it in my spare time. I did history as part of my degree and do have a logical, critical streak when I hone it and I certainly use it for work in my job as adult education teacher and officer.
But I’m no journalist and I’m not a natural historian. In those uncertain days of leaving university, when I applied for journalism college, I knew my vague, creative, easy-going liberalism would never work in the cut and thrust world of real journalism. I’m a wishy- washy artist, I can hone it when I want to, but I’m lazy. I bask in what I’m good at and that’s just what my personality type is: I can write and I can entertain. When Facebook came into being, I though it was the best thing in the world as I could espouse my opinions and people either hated me or loved me, I really didn’t care either way! I had a forum on which I could write and for an amateur writer, it was ideal!
I don’t do ‘fancy words’, although I studied literature at university. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, language and poetry, but for me it’s the nature of the human soul I want to express. That which language can’t really explain and words struggle to barely express; the terrible pain and torture of humanity and all its feelings.
I want to express what we often fail to express.
Anyone remember the agony of Heathcliffe and the sensuality of Catherine, yet her desire to marry into what society expected of her? Do you really ‘get’ what that astonishingly ugly, romantic in the true sense of the word, painful and very human novel really meant? Where human means the basest of human emotion, rawness and animal-like, as opposed to technology-sanitised emotion and “I’m good” – with all its grammatical incorrectness – that is prevalent in 21st century language?
If you’re a real fiction writer and really want to get the human nature, do please read the older stuff. It’s nothing to do with Facebook, really, we only use it because it’s the concession to reach people these days. But people do ‘get’ it, we just need to reach it.
I’m doing my bit; I have invented a character called Daniel Radlan, who is a psychic time traveller and talks about all the themes I mention here. He’s a liberal, idealistic crusader who loves what it is to be human and what is good in the human state, in the context of a good old fashioned love/psychological story.
Do you agree with me? Are there any themes here that you concede to be true?