Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do writers write what they know?(An essay for school)

So I have to write a paper for my English class. I have to argue whether or not I agree with the quote, "Scientific romances and science fiction are generally considered to be remote from the author's experience. That can never be the case:; what we are fills the fictions we tell, often without our realizing it. What lurks as figurative in the mind comes out clearly on paper". I figure I might as well write this in a blog to convince myself I'm not actually doing school work... but I am. I'm so tricky.

[It’s tough being a writer. Sometimes you have to toss a story around in your mind for what seems like years. In the introduction to War of the Worlds, Brian Aldiss states, ""Scientific romances and science fiction are generally considered to be remote from the author's experience. That can never be the case; what we are fills the fictions we tell, often without our realizing it. What lurks as figurative in the mind comes out clearly on paper". I sincerely agree with this quote. To me, this quote means that the writer both consciously and subconsciously uses themes and characters that are familiar to him. The writer's personality takes over their writing as a camouflaged facade.

As difficult and as long as it takes to write sometimes, some of the best stories out there are a distorted and altered change of realistic themes and characters that the author has experience with. Without this familiarity, pieces of writing wouldn't be convincing to the reader. Writers can't write a great science fiction piece about alien invasions if the authors themselves haven't felt personally invaded before.

People who try to write about things that they're completely unfamiliar with often come across as unauthentic or they end up having to do a ton of research on the subject. Lets say an author was trying to write about someone that was captured by an alien ship and imprisoned. If that person hasn't personally been confined in a sort of situation like that, or at least felt emotionally arrested, the author would be unable to absolutely relate to the character and make you feel what the character's supposed to be feeling.

Writers often use thoughts and experiences not just change and mask them for the sake of their story, but to evolve from that idea. This evolution is usually a conscious process. Thinking for a moment about why the pencil grip was invented can prove this. Someone looked at their past (or present) situation and thought to themselves, "Damn! I'm trying to write this letter to my lover, but the pencil's too slippery! If only I had something that went around the pencil to help keep it in my hand!" That person used their past experience and evolved that into an idea. Such creative processes go into writing all the time. Someone can take a simple scenario from their past, like tripping over a rock, and totally completely "roll" with the idea in a story. Maybe after they tripped over that rock, they hit their head and went into a fantasyland where air was made of chocolate. Who knows?

Brian Aldiss has to be correct when he says, ""Scientific romances and science fiction are generally considered to be remote from the author's experience. That can never be the case; what we are fills the fictions we tell, often without our realizing it. What lurks as figurative in the mind comes out clearly on paper". Writers need to write what they know in order to come up with any ideas at all. By using "what they know", they're able to creatively twist that thought into something new that readers can relate to. And often times, writers take an idea or scenario and evolve off of that idea and base an entire story off of a personal experience. This paper, for example, was almost entirely written off of personal experience.]




After I write this I thought to myself, "Wait... why is his pencil slippery?"

4 comments:

Monstressity said...

Phil just wanted to let you know it's me, Christie, as Monstressity. You've inspired me.

ebrown2112 said...

"Scientific romances and science fiction are generally considered to be remote from the author's experience. That can never be the case; what we are fills the fictions we tell, often without our realizing it. What lurks as figurative in the mind comes out clearly on paper".

Depends on the writer, and why he's writing.

Ares said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares said...

I guess what the writers read affects their writing too. Reading is like taking experience, being aware of what is unknown to you before.

I like your blog. You could check out my mine too, mainly about writing.

http://www.cloudsandletters.blogspot.com