Friday, February 17, 2012

Fiction Writers ~ Why We Do What We Do!!

Hi everyone!

Jessica Lloyd ~ May She Rest in Peace
I was visiting my boyfriend’s parents and the discussion turned to books…my favorite topic being that I love to read and write! My boyfriend’s mom, Diane, likes to read true crime and as you all know I like to read fictional mystery. Keeping an open mind, I borrowed a couple of books from her (I am out of reading material of my own) and thought I would give it a try.

The first book I read was “A New Kind of Monster”, written by Timothy Appleby, which is an account of the secret life and crimes committed by ex-Army Colonel Russell Williams. To say that this man was a monster is an understatement but there are really no other words to describe such an animal as this!

Marie-France Comeau ~ May She Rest in Peace
As I read this book I was a bit more than “disturbed”, I was angry and saddened by the atrocities that his later victims had to endure. I was even more disturbed by the fact that this individual could have lived such a double life for so long and nobody, not even his wife (which I find hard to believe) ever had an inkling that something was going on. Simply amazing!

I chose this book because the crime happened close to home and as you read this post, please don't think I don't feel for the victims. As a victim of crime myself (my brother was murdered in 2006), I know what you are going through and my heart goes out to each and everyone of you. This post is not about the crimes that is about the writing.

The other most notable thing for me as I continued to read this book was the fact that the writing, although the subject matter was interesting, just didn’t’ keep my interest the way a good book of fiction does. In some ways this bothered me. Here I am reading a book about REAL events that impacted REAL people and the book can’t keep my interest and I have to struggle to finish reading it. I kept thinking….What is wrong with me?!? Turns out – nothing as I’ve given things some thought since I finished the book and I believe I’ve pin pointed the reason for this phenomenon. What this kind of writing lacks, compared to the books I usually read,  is interaction between characters and the drama unfolding all around those characters when life is spinning out of control. As writers of fiction, this is what we bring to our story.

We bring our reader through a series of events that start with introducing our main characters and giving them personalities of their own followed by the events that lead up to the “main event”. We complete the story by wrapping everything into a nice neat package that tells the who, what, when, where, why, how and any other little bit of information we may want to add so everything that the reader has enjoyed makes sense to them. It is entertaining.

I’m not sure where I am going with this post or even why I felt moved enough to write about it here on MYSTERY WRITERS UNITE except to say: Keep doing what you are doing and producing great fictional writing for those of us who love to burrow in on a cold winter day and be entertained by fascinating fictional characters who do bad things.
Happy writing everyone!!


P.S. A New Kind of Monster: The Secret Life and Chilling Crimes of Colonel Russell Williams
wasn't a "bad" book...just not my usual type of read.

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