We write to inspire and we inspire by giving people something they would remember- that is our purposes as a writer.
But I find increasingly more a final purpose we seem to forget. One that on its face seems so obvious yet gets buried beneath the rules and agendas of our own premises.
Why do I like fantasy? The honest truth is I like swordplay and magic and I like adventure, but the reality is I will never be Beowulf slaying dragons and saving my kingdom. I live through the books I read.
I think we’ve lost this. Somewhere in the middle of trying to put forth a moral message we tend forfeit the witty dialogue and exciting plot twists for virtue and prose. I might agree with the agenda being pushed, but when I’m reading a crime thriller, I want to see action and passion. I care little for anything else.
The third purpose of a writer is to entertain. And I know that seems like the most basic one, but I myself am guilty of losing sight of this. Is your story interesting or is it just a promotion for something?
Remember why your reader came.
If you’re writing a romantic comedy it’s probably not likely your audience came to learn about the five stages grief. They’re there for the purpose of finding characters to love and a story that will get them excited.
I’ve read a lot of stories that had a really good message behind them, but the plot was dull and the characters regurgitated. When your epic fantasy genre starts to sound like a sermon, well, you’re in the wrong field.
The purpose of a writer- to be entertaining. After all, it’s what people are paying for. A good story with great characters that will excite them, make them laugh, make them cry, and give them a break from the harshness of reality. It’s what we were originally intended to do. Does your story give people that sense? Or is everyone informed, yet bored.
When I’m writing, I like to picture a story I’ve always wanted to read. I like to make characters I’ve always wanted to meet. It’s got to be exciting, keeping people on their toes, and having people intrigued every step of the way. I say this as a reader, not a writer. As someone who looks for that thrill of a good story. If it fails to do that it goes back on the shelf, never to be touched or remembered again.
To endure, to inspire, and to entertain. The three biggest reasons we do what we do. The reasons we create. The reasons why we spend our free time pouring out our very minds into hours of research and editing. The reasons why we stay awake at night trying to form a scenario or fix a situation.
Though I know not everyone is going to fall in love with my stories nor will everyone walk away satisfied, I hope that most people will feel like I did something good and made their time worthwhile.
Above anything, above even inspiring you, I hope that I’ve made you feel. I hope I can make you smile at times and forget reality for a brief moment. I hope you enjoy what I do- as I enjoy it.
After that, after you’ve laughed and cried, I hope you then feel free to be inspired.
This is the conclusion of The Purpose of a Writer series. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for your support.