I find myself writing more and more fiction in my day to day writing. I’m not a “plan out every minute of my writing” kinda person, I just sit down and start writing and see where it takes me. Normally, I end up writing about something real that has caught my attention, something tangible that everybody can stare at and form an opinion. So, this recent change to fiction is interesting to me. Until recently, I had never written a fictional piece, never even wanted to write a piece of fiction. Why the change?
A couple of things immediately spring to mind. The first and the simplest answer, I enjoy it. I do … and I don’t. The time forming scenes and actions in my head is a blast, I amuse myself greatly. Standing ovation from myself every time I read myself. I’m an acquired taste and myself has acquired the taste for myself. With that said, I don’t enjoy trying to translate the three dimensional technicolor movie in my head to text. It frustrates the hell out of me that I can’t create the correct combination of words and sequencing of said combination of words to convey what I see in my head. Let me see if I can put my frustration into words.
Imagine you are asked to introduce the most cherished person in your life as she accepts her Nobel prize. Of course, Trump tweets out something derogatory as he feels he should have won it and ends the tweet with “#Sad!”. Anyhow, the person you have to introduce is someone you have known forever, you have absorbed and cherished everything about her and know she is the most special person in the world. In your head, the introduction is coming out so well, you are sure that Romeo and Juliet knew nothing about expressing themselves, teenage amateurs. It’s time, you stride confidently to the dais, put your hands on both sides of the podium, look at the crowd with a deep, thoughtful stare, a look that exudes the confidence of a man who knows he’s about to usurp Shakespeare, and what comes out is … “Boobies!” That’s how I feel writing fiction, I have a summer blockbuster budget style scene in my head and when I translate it to paper … “Boobies!” OK, a part of my blockbuster movie scene made it to paper at least.
I don’t think, though, this is all of the reason why I am defaulting to fiction lately. It’s definitely part, enjoying things is good and enjoyment reinforces an action. The translating from my head to paper (yes, I know that no paper is involved in the process of writing these days, focus on the implied idea instead of the actual words. Don’t be a Greg Brady and take everything literally, it didn’t work for him and it won’t work for you) Writing non-fiction these days is not fun. I am not speaking from the perspective of this blog that is read by one person, besides myself, but rather the perspective of observing other more prominent people’s efforts. Somewhere during the internet age, the onus of proof on non-fiction pieces went from the naysayer, the person who refuted the original work, to the person who did the original work to disprove the naysayer. Yes, quite convoluted but let me try and unravel with an example.
I write a piece on, oh, I don’t know, lets call it climate change. In my piece, I supply numbers, data, calculations, and logical steps to reach my conclusions. I share this work with other people who have knowledge, get their feedback, address their challenges and then when everyone in is in agreement, publish my work. In the era before the great information age initiated by the internet, if someone didn’t agree with the work, they would have to supply the logic, numbers and evidence to refute my conclusions. The onus is on the naysayer. Now, in the current information age, if I were to repeat the above process, a person without any knowledge about the subject matter can basically tweet “I don’t believe this. Snow has always existed. #Sad!” and the media runs with this quote. Now, the onus to disprove is placed onto the original author to make the unknown tweeter believe even though it is technically impossible to disprove an individual’s beliefs. They believe what they want. As an observer, this is frustrating to watch unfold and frustrating for the people who are trying to add information to mankind’s current corpus.
As someone who can absorb learning by watching other people, this affects me and my appetite to contribute. I’m not giving up non-fiction writing but, in this day and age, it isn’t the most appealing genre to work in currently. It’s not fun to put a lot of effort into working up logical conclusions and presenting facts only for someone unversed in the subject to come along and state their disbelief and their disbelief turns into the de facto version of truth. So, yeah, the switch in where the onus of proof lies is probably playing a a part as well on why I have drifted towards writing more fiction. When writing fiction, there is only one version of truth and that version is in my head. Let me put it down on paper for you… “Boobies!”