Writing 101: One-Word Inspiration
I write urban paranormal stories for a YA/NA audience. What does that mean? It’s a highbrow way of saying I like to write stories about vampires…and fairies, and other make-believe, supernatural characters. I throw these fictional beings into our universe, and I giggle when everyday life happens to them.
*See, this is the part where you can feel free to leave.
All I need to do is mention the word vampire, and I know I’m instantly dismissed as a writer. It’s nothing personal. I understand. In fact, I consciously picked this genre, knowing that it wouldn’t suit every reader. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-told vampire tale, but that’s not what’s kept me interested in writing their stories for the past…5ish, 6ish, 8ish years. Wow! I should probably do the math sometime. I’ve lost track of time; it’s been that long. LOL
I think you have to be brave to write about the world around you, to comment on controversial topics like religion, relationships, or sexuality. I am not a brave writer. I am a wuss at heart. Sure, I want to be able to say what I think, but I’m afraid. I hide behind my vampires because they can say all the things I can’t. They are brave. I am not. They can be controversial, where I’m more conservative. They can be wild, while I’m…fairly boring. I use my vampires as a safety net. (It’s a good that they’re fictional because that sounds rather dangerous.)
I like to use my vampires to explore family dynamics. What makes a family? Is a family determined by chromosomes, or is there more to it than that? Who decides who is part your family, or my family? Is it all up to fate or do we have a choice in the matter? And what happens if your weren’t blessed with the perfect family? What if your family’s dysfunctional? Is that it? Are you stuck with the hand you’ve been dealt?
I don’t know.
I don’t have all the answers, but the questions are fun to explore.
Along with family, is the concept of home. If you’ve only lived in one place, how do you know if you’re home? Is home a place on a map, or is it a place in your heart? I have my own opinion on this matter of course, but it’s been fun making my main characters, Chloe and Roberta (Bobbi) Williamson, explore what this means to them. It’s interesting to write my way through their struggles. The more I write, the more my characters learn. The more I explore, the more I learn.
Here is an excerpt from my work in progress:
“So, if you have no formal address and no home, how do you know that you’re supposed to stay in Pennsylvania?”
“Because, this is where I live. This is where I’ve always lived.”
“In the past, yes. What about now? How do you know where your home is supposed to be if you’re temporarily between residences?”
I couldn’t take this anymore. I wanted the insane questioning to stop. Mystery Aunt won. She knew it. I knew it. There wasn’t anything left to say. Let the punishment begin!