Yesterday I decided I wanted to blog more. Today, I started an online Writing Workshop that will carry me throughout the next few weeks and help me re-achieve that regular blogging goal I had (and reached) last year. Today and tomorrow I will post parts 1 and 2 of my first assignment, “Why I Write.” Enjoy:
Several years into my professional career and I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what it is I do. Am I a videographer? Editor? Filmmaker? Writer? Graphic designer? Web designer? Painter? What if “What I Am” was all of the above? What if my creativity in one area strongly feeds off of my creativity in another?
When I made my first short film, I was astonished that it was a 15-minute mash-up job of a film using talentless talent and music we only had the right to use because we were students working on a student project. Not because we had finished the project, but because the final product was an audio-visual representation of a story I had written a few years prior. It took quite a bit of time, a lot of effort and a ton of passion and determination, but the story that I made up about a man unhealthily obsessed with a woman and the murder of her boyfriend had become a visual piece of art – people could see the story.
I write because at some point visual ideas sometimes need to be described in a literary manner.
Anyone who has read any of my short fiction knows the contents are almost always morbid, sometimes exploitative, and often somewhat sexually graphic. In my stories, I have written about peeling the flesh off of people’s faces, carving your obsession’s name into the stomach of their lover, homoerotic vampire clown girls, falling in love with a stripper turned zombie and a the spirit of a dead little girl who attacks you at night solely as punishment for believing in her. I could neither violently murder someone, nor could I take my anger and frustration to extreme levels, nor do I condone lesbianism between three vampire clown girls – but my characters do, and it’s their world, not mine.
I write because some things are frowned upon, too terrifying or otherwise illegal in this world’s society.
I grew up reading Hit Parader Magazine – my Paps bought me my first one – various rockers on the cover including Gene Simmons, Angus Young and Eddie Van Halen. The theme was “20 Years of Hard Rock” and included many stories about each of the bands featured on the cover (and some that were not) plus a giant, pullout poster of KISS, a group of guys that my great grandmother promptly told me were “not role models.” When I would read the stories about Skid Row and Motley Crue, or the articles about Marilyn Manson and Slayer, I would pretend I had been the one interviewing them and that I knew these guys on a personal level. I finally got to live that dream in 2010 when I interviewed Rob Zombie for the Knoxville Metro Pulse.
I write as an excuse to talk to the guys in the magazines.
“nor do I condone lesbianism between three vampire clown girls ”
That’s probably a lot funnier at 1 AM that it would be during the day… anyway, I see your point. While I have not written about the above, I have written some out of the everyday things. I most often get the question, “Is the main character you?” or some version of that followed by “Where did you come up with character X? Do you know someone like that?” Yes, cousin Fred is an ax murderer. No, of course I don’t know anyone like that. It’s called fiction for a reason. Second, the main character is not the author unless it is an autobiography. I think writers understand this. Nuances of the writer’s personality and experience may faintly trace the page, but the characters are not (or should not be carbon copies of the author).
So I hear you about the writing. Keep up the good work.