Today I’m delighted to host two fabulous Darkstroke authors to discuss their writing motivations. Firstly, I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer Worrell to my blog…
This was a tougher question than I expected. I wanted to answer with something more fulfilling than “I love it” or “it completes me” but sometimes the simple answer is the right one. Even when block or indifference or mounting insecurity destroys any chance at productivity, it’s not long before I’m desperate to get back to the keyboard.
That, and playing God is a trip.
A giant nerd and outcast in school, I preferred immersing myself in the worlds I created more than the real one forced on me. I could outwit the bullies, change the world. Writing was my refuge, my catharsis. Too shy for performance art, unmotivated to learn an instrument, repulsed by (and awful at) sports: writing was my talent. While most kids were out playing sportsball, I was reading. And doing brain-teasers and crosswords. And watching soap operas. Writing fiction is playing with all my favorite things.
I have a black t-shirt memorializing One Life to Live, with the years of its premiere and finale listed, like a tombstone. The plots were ridiculous but I admired how the scriptwriters worked under intense pressure, filling an hour with exciting twists five days a week for over 40 years. How every character action had consequences until drama fizzled and they were killed in tragic fashion (for a while, anyway). One long-running thread featured a criminal clawing his way back to respectability, never quite emerging from the darkness, yet somehow maintaining the love of his family and finding a place in society. I watched largely for his arc, fascinated by the tug-of-war between repulsion and empathy.
Desperate to improve my craft and emulate my biggest influences, I soaked up literary appreciation classes and fiction workshops, dissecting books and poems and plays to reveal the author’s subtle messages. Unraveling all the possibilities and paths a story can introduce, deciphering why people behave the way they do and how they handle life’s unexpected turns, are irresistible puzzles.
I recently read an article in The Writer’s Chronicle called “Words Creating Space: Three-Dimensionality in Prose,” by Rachel Howard. The sort of vivid, immersive writing she highlights puts stars in my eyes every time. I’m jazzed by advanced techniques like these and use them as challenges, free mini creative writing courses complete with homework. Taking storytelling from skillset to artistry is the goal I’ve been chasing since I first held a pen to paper.
This is why I write: to fuse the perfect combination of poetry and pleasure into something unforgettable.
About the Author:
If Jennifer were to make a deal with the Devil, she’d ask to live—in good health—just until she’s finished reading all the books. She figures that’s pretty square. In case other bibliophiles attempt the same scheme, she’s working hard to get all her ideas on paper. She writes multi-genre fiction and the occasional essay, and is currently working on a collection of shorts and two picture books that may or may not be suitable for children. Edge of Sundown is her first novel. She’s always been drawn to “what-ifs” and flawed characters, and has never quite mastered the happy ending.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @JWorrellWrites
Edge of Sundown is available on Amazon at: mybook.to/edgeofsundown