This post was inspired by Justine Manzano’s “Genre Choice” which can be found here.
As a child, I was obsessed with being transported to different places. Other worlds, space, some kind of alternative universe. The qualifications for me liking something were as follows: it shouldn’t be a mirror of reality.
The fact I wasn’t the most outgoing child fueled this need as well. I preferred being home. I had my television, books, video games, and computer (though my parents hated when I was online for they could never use the phone). I was exposed to a variety of different outlets daily. My mind was never vacant. For when I got bored of a universe, I jumped into another one. It was a comfort to me and one of the biggest influences for how I wound up where I am as a writer.
I love science fiction and fantasy. It’s what I can write with ease. I can take what is around me and spin it. As a child, I have notebooks filled with robot societies, fairies, international space trial. Name something and I’ve probably thought about it or written about it somewhere.
I feel as if I was lucky to have these ideas bearing down on my mind. I didn’t have to find my interests. They found me and overwhelmingly took hostage of my mind. Though perhaps hostage is not the right word for I did nothing to cease their existence. I laid down a welcome mat in front of the door. I provided food and drink. If these ideas hadn’t chose to come in, I’d be genuinely surprised.
What I had to do for myself was take these ideas seriously. I had to reach a point in my life where I knew that these were not just ideas, but they would become a story, multiple stories. I had to realize that writing was the life I had both been given and chose. When I have thoughts about genetic manipulation, spell books, magic, and memory alteration, I probably shouldn’t keep those to myself.
My main muse is for a character named Aleks. He appeared when I was sixteen and underwent a journey that was both heartbreaking and enlightening. I had to build him back up from his lowest point. He became a person to me whose struggles I shared. He lost who he was and who he loved in a world that was corrupt. He had dark days, such as contemplating why life was worth living, and he had better days, like caring for his newly found best friend’s child. He lived through fighting for his life and accepting that the world can sometimes be a terrible place. Where this version of Aleks is, he is safe. He’s managed his issues to where he can manage life and where the world has began to heal from its chaos.
The Aleks I’m working with now, for the novel I plan to write, is starting from a midpoint between sustainable and broken. He’s in a world that has decided to treat people more like malleable toys than thinking and existing entities. He’s reclaiming what he lost with a vegence.
None of this would have been possible without the influences that I had. To put it simply, what you write will come without thought. You will find your interests and they will ignite. They may shock you, but run with them and it will be better in the long run.