Saturday, January 26, 2013

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Why I write



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I often get the question about why I write. Honestly? I write because I have to. It almost sounds like I'm doing something I don't like when I put it that way, doesn't it? But that's not the case at all. The fact is I have always written in one form or another. Granted before age five I couldn't really write but even then I told stories, or drew pictures that told stories. Just because I didn't know how to write words didn't mean I didn't write. I've always written. Words are compelling for me.

Another reason I write is because I have a very vivid imagination. I have always had a movie running in my head. I can easily see scenes from my books and even feel what my characters are feeling. Being able to write down the movie in my head makes it possible for me to share my vivid imagination with others.

I love to tell stories. There is just something so rewarding about telling a story and keeping people on the edge of their seat to find out what is going to happen next that is quite simply addicting. One of my favorite things about writing is figuring out how myself and my characters are going to both fool and engage the reader. I say fool because when you're writing fiction you can't make it too easy. Personally I am not a fan of books where I can figure out who the bad guy is or who the heroine is going to marry or whatever the case may be in the first couple of chapters. I've been known to put those books down and never pick them up again, so I work hard to make sure there are enough surprises to keep my readers interested.

Photo Credit: Stock Xchng
And I write to educate. As someone of Native American heritage, there is so much information out there about Native Americans that is incorrect that I use my fiction to educate, as well as, to entertain. Stereotypes abound when it comes to Native Americans, all you have to do is watch a movie from the 1950's with Indians in it and you'll see what I mean. The whole idea of Indians being savage, or stoic, or wearing full feather head dresses (not all tribes had these, this is mainly the plains tribes only) and it's not hard to see how easy it is to be misinformed. So, several of my stories have Native Americans and other Indigenous Peoples as main characters, and rather than using stereotypes to explain their actions and their lives, I use my own knowledge of my people to tell their stories. What I don't know I carefully research and whenever possible talk to members of the tribe that my characters come from so I am certain that what I write is accurate.

And finally it's fun! Writing stories and even non-fiction like this article for example is fun for me and relaxing. Weird I suppose for those non-writers out there, but ultimately writing for me is the same as say someone who enjoys skiing wanting to hit the slopes every weekend during the winter.


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