The World We Want

Writing, in one way or another, is nothing more than wish fulfillment.  Some genres are blatant with throwing the wants in your face, like romance or fantasy, while others like darker fiction aren’t as clear.  Why would we possibly want to live in a world with some huge cataclysmic problem or tragedy on our doorsteps?  Excitement, adventure, or most likely for me: to satisfy some sort of curiosity.  The worlds we write are likely going to be the world we want to live in.  Something about that world appeals to us.  The same is true for whatever media we enjoy.

Yesterday, Glenn was watching an anime called Elfen Leid.  It started out interesting to me; I liked the art and could tolerate the gore.  I found some of the characters to be adorable and enjoyed watching them.  And then I had to leave the room.  The world that the anime had created was just too dark for me.  I couldn’t handle the incest, rape, and loads and loads of violence.  Oh, and some kid killed a little puppy.  I nearly cried.  It was hard for him to watch, but the story was strong enough to keep him through all of that.

All of this got me thinking about the world that I’ve created for my characters.  It’s a world that’s very similar to our real world but it’s a lighter world.  There’s more oddballs and the “stakes” of my protagonist’s world are very different from any experience I’ve had, but it still feels like a lighter world.  More Scooby Doo villains than the messed up crazies of CSI.

My reasoning?  I want to make my readers laugh.  I want my work to be a happy place–a world that is close enough to reality that they feel at home but not so ordinary as their town.  Dark themes and dark, hard to read scenes are not what I’m aiming for.  Suspense?  Yes, absolutely!  Severe, hard core violence?  No thanks.  I want my readers to walk away feeling good.  I’m totally okay with my work being labeled as “light reading.”  I’d love to live in a world with that kind of lightness to life, so that’s the world I’ve created.

How does the world you wrote reflect the world you want?  Does it?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emma
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 04:06:59

    Hi there,

    I love what you have written here, to me it makes so much sense. I think writing should enrich the reader’s life, not leave you feel like there is more darkness out there than you would like to think of. And surely the world you want to live in is the one which is the richest in detail – because you spend so much time thinking about it! So will be the one which is most convincing.


    • nerdywordyjana
      Aug 01, 2011 @ 05:08:21

      Hiya! And thank you. I think it’s interesting how writers create their fictional worlds. The details that are added show something about both the fictional world and the writer’s personal world. It’s interesting how it can play off of it each, you know? 🙂


  2. poetofmidnight
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 12:01:18

    My writing should reflect the world how I want it to be but it doesn’t. My writing likes to stray down a path where things are dark and supernatural. So I suppose I’m more of a supernatural/horror/fantasy type of writer. And I don’t want to live in a world that’s entirely dark. However, no matter how dark or wierd the story gets I have the power to turn it around in the end. So I guess I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic; I’m drawn toward writing darker fiction as long as I can find the light at the end of that dark tunnel. By the way, your posts talk so much about writing but I haven’t seen any stories or poetry that you’ve written on your blog. Are you going to writing pieces that you’re working on?


    • nerdywordyjana
      Aug 03, 2011 @ 13:08:43

      Nothing wrong with that kind of fiction! I think it’s awesome that people can write it! Mine never really turns out to be believable to me.

      I’ve never really posted much of my work online before. I tend to write humorous mystery fiction, but I’ll use fanfiction to try out new techniques to see how I like them. I like having a pre-established world when I’m trying to figure out how to work something. I’ve got some of that posted online, but that’s not really original stuff. I might post some in the future? I’m honestly not sure though.


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