I’ve heard the gamut of advice since I started writing a few years ago. I’ve heard to write what you know. I’ve heard to write what people will read. I’ve heard to write what you enjoy. There are so many tidbits of what one should write, some of it is helpful, while some of it is not. I’m not talking about advise today. I’m talking about how I came to enjoy writing fantasy and science fiction.
When it comes to Fantasy, I was indoctrinated into that world from a young age. As a child I was fixated by magic to the point that it was nearly an obsession. Thus fantasy became something of a commonplace when I was little. What I’m getting at is that it shaped my mind. Instead of being able to think of a contemporary story, I add in flourishes of fantasy. See, my mind just seems incapable of forming a story that doesn’t have some sort of fantastical element.
Thus when it came to writing, Fantasy felt natural. Fantasy was an extension of my personality. I don’t see the world in black and white, I see the world with all the shadows that people don’t want you to see. Fantasy came naturally from me. It challenged me to create my own worlds, rather than consuming them, but it also felt like home. So when I open up one of my projects, I’m excited just because it’s a world I’ve created. The hard part is perfecting the craft, not creating the world.
All this goes for Science Fiction as well. As much as I love Fantasy, as I grew older, I consumed more Science Fiction. Where Fantasy set my mind free to go to new places and see the impossible as possible, Science Fiction forced me to think in ways fantasy didn’t. It made me think of given everything in our society, how would we as society change if something was different? Science fiction challenged me on every level. Writing it can be difficult. Walking the balance between making something that is plausible and writing something that is interesting and thought provoking.
The fact that these two genres challenge me, without making me dislike them is really the key for me. It keeps things interesting in ways that other genres that challenge me don’t. Staying interested is what makes it clear that it’s something that I love. I love mysteries and horror, but I couldn’t write them for the life of me. The skills that one would need for those genres just aren’t there for me. I could write something with a elements of those genres, but I don’t have the ability to write that genre, simply because I enjoy reading them more than writing them.
How did you figure out that you enjoy writing your genre?