“What makes us do the things we do…Imagination!” -Tamia “Imagination”

When having a discussion with a fellow genre writer and student of Creative Writing I was thinking about what makes me a genre writer as opposed to a literary one. While I do write literary fiction at times and do really enjoy reading some of it I still consider myself a genre writer, first and foremost. I think one factor is my weird overactive imagination. When walking a mile at a questionable time through a questionable neighborhood it’s normal to be a little nervous/scared. While I fear the normal things, y’know serial killers, stray dogs, muggers that kind of thing I’m also imagining/fearing completely off the wall things. Par Example:

I once walked a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the night with the streetlights out and all I could think was that a werewolf was going to jump out and savage me, then I would have to be hospitalized, I would start to heal pretty rapidly, then I’d be touted as a medical miracle because my huge crazy gaping wounds would heal so quickly, then I would be released from the hospital and discover I had been changed and was now a werewolf myself, I would go to all my friends and give them the option of being faster, stronger and we would become Lycanthrope freedom fighters!

Then there was the one where I was thinking, what if I was an alien life form sent here to infiltrate and select guerrilla fighters for when the alien menace that wiped out my people showed up! There would be about 15 of us world wide, the last members of our race each with a ship invisible in geosynchronous orbit. Then when the threat showed up I would beam my selected and their families on board before we could be mind-wiped. We would then start the war.

Or maybe if I was a sorcerer on the run in this dimension and I was caught while hanging out with my friends. I’d have to reveal myself and fight the bounty hunters right in front of them. Wouldn’t that put a bit of a damper on things?

(yes they’re all about me, HEY! it’s my imagination and I don’t write about myself that would be annoying and a Gary Stu. Besides I don’t write male characters very often at all.)

These are the completely random things that run through my head when I’m just walking along the street. The dying tree becomes a dying dryad spurned by a human lover. The statue that is shaped like a man is actually a man trapped by a curse and set up as a reminder by his family. That sparkle in the sky isn’t a shooting star but a fight between inter-dimensional beings over a slice of rhubarb pie!…well you get the idea.

While I don’t think this is the whole reason I’m a genre writer I do know that for the most part I’ve kept the wild imagination I had as a child and it entertains me/scares me all the time and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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5 responses to ““What makes us do the things we do…Imagination!” -Tamia “Imagination”

  1. Hello,

    I enjoyed reading your road-walk-imaginations. It has been a long time since things talked to me that way. Anyway, I have a question to ask to you.
    I am in the middle of or rather at the beginning of a story for a film. The story was flowing very well, and I was very thrilled, but now can not move at all, because the 3rd edition of the story was soul-less and that frightened me. The question to you, were you ever in this situation of blockage? And if yes, how did you overcome this?

  2. Meeradc – It does happen that sometimes I will get bored of a story part way through or just lose the thread of it. Usually I do one of three things:
    1. I go back and re-read what I’ve written, not just the story so far but any notes I took any scribbles I made. I try to go back to what entranced me about the story in the beginning, try to rekindle my love of it.
    2. Work on something else for a while. Sometimes all I need to get back into the groove of a story is to leave it alone for a while. Letting the mind concentrate on another story or just another project in general can let your subconscious mind marinate the ideas of the original story. I think I can concentrate so much on a story that my mind just shuts down, it needs other input and that helps me to be able to go back to the first story again.
    3. Another thing is to go back to the exact moment when the story began to feel soulless. Go to that exact moment and change it. Change what a character says/does, change how someone reacts, shoot go for broke and kill off a character, anything to alter what happens next. The fork in the road on a story is complicated and weird (and does not have just two paths), while one fork leads to soulless the other can always lead to something amazing.

    Hope this helped!

  3. hahahaha

    I have friends/relatives who occasionally ask me, ‘why don’t you write something I can read?’, meaning, something not in that weird skiffy genre.

    You’ve answered the question.

    It’s just where your, and my, imagination goes. Us and our other tribe mates. (that’s how I always felt, anyway, when I hit the sff world – it was like, ‘oh, I found THEM, these are my tribe.’ (or clan, cohort, kin, whatever word one likes for that sense of people having something in common in that way)

  4. Anony – Exactly! I think a lot of people just don’t get that. I mean yes sometimes (rarely) I get inspiration for a non-genre piece but for the most part what I write and love is spaceships, evil overlords, magic and dystopic psychic futures.

    I felt the same way when I went to my first F/SF con and really talked to people. It was like ‘these people understand me!’

  5. Hmm, that anony comment was me. I guess I forgot to sign in . . . oops. But, anyway – yeah.

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