The Motivating Purpose

30 Comments

  1. OK – why am I writing the current novel? Because I read a true story that I wanted to think through. What if these two people lived at a different time? How would their relationship have changed? What background best brings out their feelings and choices? What setting best reflects their private situation?

    My motivating theme? _What is the relationship between freedom and community?_

  2. OK – why am I writing the current novel? Because I read a true story that I wanted to think through. What if these two people lived at a different time? How would their relationship have changed? What background best brings out their feelings and choices? What setting best reflects their private situation?

    My motivating theme? _What is the relationship between freedom and community?_

  3. John – That's awesome, and very similar to how I come up with my ideas. And your theme is excellent…deep, with many facets, and profound.

    Angelica – Very nice! At least you wrote it, right? Are you still working on this novel, or have you moved on? And is this new novel something that you're writing because, again, you want to read it?

  4. Well, that quote works perfectly fine for me. I wrote the novel because that was what I wanted to read. It actually comes from a scene in Lord of the Rings that I wanted to redo and finally ended in something so completely different that no one would realise the connection even if I said I got it from LotR.
    The novel did end up crap, but that’s just because I was so inexperienced when I first started that it’s impossible to fix everything.

  5. Well, that quote works perfectly fine for me. I wrote the novel because that was what I wanted to read. It actually comes from a scene in Lord of the Rings that I wanted to redo and finally ended in something so completely different that no one would realise the connection even if I said I got it from LotR.
    The novel did end up crap, but that’s just because I was so inexperienced when I first started that it’s impossible to fix everything.

  6. John – That’s awesome, and very similar to how I come up with my ideas. And your theme is excellent…deep, with many facets, and profound.

    Angelica – Very nice! At least you wrote it, right? Are you still working on this novel, or have you moved on? And is this new novel something that you’re writing because, again, you want to read it?

  7. I am writing my WIP because I am endlessly fascinated by the entwining thread of marriage/love, the role of women in society, and with class/position. Many of my plots circle around these themes as I find it a bit heartrending to read about horrible, cold marriages of the Edwardian era–particularly the American heiress/European aristocrat matches–and want to both give those stories happy endings after working out the difficulties that doomed those real life marriages, as well as question what exactly is it to feel safe and secure. Is it money? Power? Social position? Is love ever enough? Can love overcome poverty? I also like to explore concepts of love and marriage in the 19th/early 20th centuries, as it was very different from today.

  8. I am writing my WIP because I am endlessly fascinated by the entwining thread of marriage/love, the role of women in society, and with class/position. Many of my plots circle around these themes as I find it a bit heartrending to read about horrible, cold marriages of the Edwardian era–particularly the American heiress/European aristocrat matches–and want to both give those stories happy endings after working out the difficulties that doomed those real life marriages, as well as question what exactly is it to feel safe and secure. Is it money? Power? Social position? Is love ever enough? Can love overcome poverty? I also like to explore concepts of love and marriage in the 19th/early 20th centuries, as it was very different from today.

  9. Why am I writing this novel… at first it was because the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. Then, it turned in to a way to look at the question of how people respond to overwhelming responsibility.

  10. Why am I writing this novel… at first it was because the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. Then, it turned in to a way to look at the question of how people respond to overwhelming responsibility.

  11. I write romantic suspense set in Mississippi. The romantic suspense part is because that's what I enjoy reading. But Mississippi–well that's a bit more complex.

    I'm a native of the magnolia state, born and raised. I've had this long term love-hate relationship with Mississippi. Yeah, there are definite negatives about my home state–we tend to come in last in everything you want to come in first and come in first in all the things nobody wants to talk about. But there's more to us than that. Over the course of my lifetime, I've repeatedly been confronted by other people's ignorance about my home state. People meet me, find out I'm from Mississippi, and suddenly my IQ drops a couple of standard deviations. On a school trip to Chicago in junior high (one where we had to wear the dumb T-shirts proclaiming where we were from), some jackass stopped us on Michigan Ave. and asked why we were wearing shoes. Hollywood, the news media, and other forms of media continue to perpetuate the stereotype that Mississippi is the land that time forgot–a backwoods haven for redneck racists and a bastion of political incorrectness. We get no credit for our achievements and no one will ever let us move beyond the image burned into the retinas of America and the rest of the world of the atrocities committed during the Civil Rights movement. And don't get me started on how the bulk of the country thinks the Civil War was fought over slavery. It was fought over states rights. Only 2% of the men who fought for the Confederacy owned slaves. The other 98% were protecting their land and their families. And we won't talk about the reality of Lincoln's less than sterling actions that most history curriculums like to omit. Frankly, it ticks me off and is a serious soapbox issue for me. I'm not saying it didn't happen or that it wasn't horrible. It did and it was. But for the love of God, the rest of the country has been allowed to move into the 21st century. Let us! There's this fantastic campaign that was started a few years ago to let people know about the accomplishments of Mississippi and her people http://www.mississippibelieveit.com. Check it out, I guarantee you'll be surprised.

    But I digress.

    I write what I write because I want to portray the Mississippi that I love. The fact that my state is one big small town, that we take care of our own, and that we are NOT a bunch of ignorant, racist rednecks. It's the thing I can do to give back.

  12. my motivating purpose in writing romance is that, a large portion focuses on alpha dominant males. The vast majority of females still, no matter what feminism says, want a man stronger than them, a male more dominant than them. If they are primarily heterosexual, unless they just happen to be wired a little differently, or they’ve had a traumatic experience that makes them fear men, this tends to be the case.

    My motivating purpose in writing romance is to contribute to that conversation, and to show that dominant male/submissive female (even if it’s only toward him) dynamic in a way that is healthy and not “omg oppressing women run away!”

    I think while feminism has done some good things for us, it’s also caused many women to feel disconnected from their own gender identity and fearful of admitting if they have that urge for a dominant alpha male.

    When really ALL female mammals mate with dominant males. No female mammal with the exception of Humans will mate with a weak male that isn’t dominant to their more submissive counterpart.

    I’m not knocking relationships in which the women is dominant or the relationship somehow is all the time very very equal, only that this isn’t evolutionarily how female mammals, including humans have developed, and some streams of modern feminism seek to make women ashamed of that.

    Sorry that was so long and ranty, but yeah, that’s why I write romance.

  13. my motivating purpose in writing romance is that, a large portion focuses on alpha dominant males. The vast majority of females still, no matter what feminism says, want a man stronger than them, a male more dominant than them. If they are primarily heterosexual, unless they just happen to be wired a little differently, or they’ve had a traumatic experience that makes them fear men, this tends to be the case.

    My motivating purpose in writing romance is to contribute to that conversation, and to show that dominant male/submissive female (even if it’s only toward him) dynamic in a way that is healthy and not “omg oppressing women run away!”

    I think while feminism has done some good things for us, it’s also caused many women to feel disconnected from their own gender identity and fearful of admitting if they have that urge for a dominant alpha male.

    When really ALL female mammals mate with dominant males. No female mammal with the exception of Humans will mate with a weak male that isn’t dominant to their more submissive counterpart.

    I’m not knocking relationships in which the women is dominant or the relationship somehow is all the time very very equal, only that this isn’t evolutionarily how female mammals, including humans have developed, and some streams of modern feminism seek to make women ashamed of that.

    Sorry that was so long and ranty, but yeah, that’s why I write romance.

  14. I write romantic suspense set in Mississippi. The romantic suspense part is because that’s what I enjoy reading. But Mississippi–well that’s a bit more complex.

    I’m a native of the magnolia state, born and raised. I’ve had this long term love-hate relationship with Mississippi. Yeah, there are definite negatives about my home state–we tend to come in last in everything you want to come in first and come in first in all the things nobody wants to talk about. But there’s more to us than that. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve repeatedly been confronted by other people’s ignorance about my home state. People meet me, find out I’m from Mississippi, and suddenly my IQ drops a couple of standard deviations. On a school trip to Chicago in junior high (one where we had to wear the dumb T-shirts proclaiming where we were from), some jackass stopped us on Michigan Ave. and asked why we were wearing shoes. Hollywood, the news media, and other forms of media continue to perpetuate the stereotype that Mississippi is the land that time forgot–a backwoods haven for redneck racists and a bastion of political incorrectness. We get no credit for our achievements and no one will ever let us move beyond the image burned into the retinas of America and the rest of the world of the atrocities committed during the Civil Rights movement. And don’t get me started on how the bulk of the country thinks the Civil War was fought over slavery. It was fought over states rights. Only 2% of the men who fought for the Confederacy owned slaves. The other 98% were protecting their land and their families. And we won’t talk about the reality of Lincoln’s less than sterling actions that most history curriculums like to omit. Frankly, it ticks me off and is a serious soapbox issue for me. I’m not saying it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t horrible. It did and it was. But for the love of God, the rest of the country has been allowed to move into the 21st century. Let us! There’s this fantastic campaign that was started a few years ago to let people know about the accomplishments of Mississippi and her people http://www.mississippibelieveit.com. Check it out, I guarantee you’ll be surprised.

    But I digress.

    I write what I write because I want to portray the Mississippi that I love. The fact that my state is one big small town, that we take care of our own, and that we are NOT a bunch of ignorant, racist rednecks. It’s the thing I can do to give back.

  15. Evangeline – That’s a lot to cover! And similar to many of my own reasons behind writing. I know many adults (and many of them male) think romance is “spoiling” women against the real world of modern romance, so sometimes I wonder whether we’re helping or hurting our readers by reinventing history. At the same time, there’s such a large part of me that feels for those women of the past, and I want to give them a chance, at least in my fiction, to have some sense of happiness.

    Word Nerd – My characters won’t leave me alone, either. And in some ways, I’m also dealing with the sense of overwhelming responsibility, but more on a familial level.

    Zoe – I love this, “contributing to the conversation.” What an excellent way to put it. There are fans on both sides of the line, those that love the alpha male/beta female, and those that love the beta male/alpha female. I’m interested to see your contributions!

    Kathleen – Did I strike a chord, or what? :) I think it’s fantastic that you’re using your writing as a way to discuss important issues in your life. That’s the wonderful thing about writing: it opens up discussions and allows us to address things that can sometimes be awkward in everyday conversation.

  16. Evangeline – That’s a lot to cover! And similar to many of my own reasons behind writing. I know many adults (and many of them male) think romance is “spoiling” women against the real world of modern romance, so sometimes I wonder whether we’re helping or hurting our readers by reinventing history. At the same time, there’s such a large part of me that feels for those women of the past, and I want to give them a chance, at least in my fiction, to have some sense of happiness.

    Word Nerd – My characters won’t leave me alone, either. And in some ways, I’m also dealing with the sense of overwhelming responsibility, but more on a familial level.

    Zoe – I love this, “contributing to the conversation.” What an excellent way to put it. There are fans on both sides of the line, those that love the alpha male/beta female, and those that love the beta male/alpha female. I’m interested to see your contributions!

    Kathleen – Did I strike a chord, or what? :) I think it’s fantastic that you’re using your writing as a way to discuss important issues in your life. That’s the wonderful thing about writing: it opens up discussions and allows us to address things that can sometimes be awkward in everyday conversation.

  17. Ms Morrison's quote works for me. But it's also the ideas and characters won't leave me alone.

    I write in a number of genres because of that. Currently, I'm working on the balance between good intentions that have bad results and bad intentions that have good results through the use of magic in an age where magic is heresy. Though what 'age' I haven't decided. (I'm still researching that part.)

  18. I don't know Belinda, considering the fact that many people in general hold grave misconceptions about women in history–if not the pre-1960s world. Honestly, I don't consider myself to reinvent history as I respect the social constraints and mind-set of the times. I like to work within the framework of society to weave unconventional characters in. It is the, in my opinion, disrespect of history and its people that has resulted in wallpaper historicals that hurt history and women more than showcasing characters people assume to be anachronistic.

  19. I don’t know Belinda, considering the fact that many people in general hold grave misconceptions about women in history–if not the pre-1960s world. Honestly, I don’t consider myself to reinvent history as I respect the social constraints and mind-set of the times. I like to work within the framework of society to weave unconventional characters in. It is the, in my opinion, disrespect of history and its people that has resulted in wallpaper historicals that hurt history and women more than showcasing characters people assume to be anachronistic.

  20. … You know, I really have no idea.

    I love the characters. My heroine's been hanging around my head for eight years now, my hero, at least five. It's a story that I kept trying to start and couldn't finish four years ago. Last year, I decided on an ending for the story, worked on it for NaNoWriMo (it wasn't even the project that I was most interested in at the time). Now I can't put it down until it's perfect.

    In fact, the more I work on it, the most excited I get about it. It's weird, the opposite of what most people describe when they write a book.

  21. … You know, I really have no idea.

    I love the characters. My heroine’s been hanging around my head for eight years now, my hero, at least five. It’s a story that I kept trying to start and couldn’t finish four years ago. Last year, I decided on an ending for the story, worked on it for NaNoWriMo (it wasn’t even the project that I was most interested in at the time). Now I can’t put it down until it’s perfect.

    In fact, the more I work on it, the most excited I get about it. It’s weird, the opposite of what most people describe when they write a book.

  22. Ms Morrison’s quote works for me. But it’s also the ideas and characters won’t leave me alone.

    I write in a number of genres because of that. Currently, I’m working on the balance between good intentions that have bad results and bad intentions that have good results through the use of magic in an age where magic is heresy. Though what ‘age’ I haven’t decided. (I’m still researching that part.)

  23. Evangeline – Excellent point. I try to stay as authentic to the period as I can as well. I don't know how well I succeed, especially as I'm dealing with introspective characters that may, in modern eyes, seem unique to the era. But their problems and solutions are very much tied to the era in which I'm writing…I only hope I'm not propagating misconceptions.

    Eliza – That's awesome. Character-driven stories are love, and I think it's wonderful when characters become such a part of us that the more we're around them, the more we want to get to know them. Kudos to you for feeling more, rather than less, excited about your work as you mold and change it!

    Jaye – You aren't joking about the multiple genres! Didn't I read three chapters of a murder mystery? And now you're working on fantasy…very creative! How do you choose which genre to work in, and what motivates you to make the change from one to the other?

  24. Evangeline – Excellent point. I try to stay as authentic to the period as I can as well. I don’t know how well I succeed, especially as I’m dealing with introspective characters that may, in modern eyes, seem unique to the era. But their problems and solutions are very much tied to the era in which I’m writing…I only hope I’m not propagating misconceptions.

    Eliza – That’s awesome. Character-driven stories are love, and I think it’s wonderful when characters become such a part of us that the more we’re around them, the more we want to get to know them. Kudos to you for feeling more, rather than less, excited about your work as you mold and change it!

    Jaye – You aren’t joking about the multiple genres! Didn’t I read three chapters of a murder mystery? And now you’re working on fantasy…very creative! How do you choose which genre to work in, and what motivates you to make the change from one to the other?

  25. You did. Mucho grateful for your hard work, too!

    How do I choose the genre? The facetious answer would be it chooses me, but I look around this world of ours – the natural and invented – and an idea will pop. For example, the current WIP came from watching a commercial for The Dresden Files. Harry has a ball of blue magic in his hand. But what if the recharge/use of magic had opposite effects? The blue magic heals but to recharge, it sucks the positive out of someone. Red magic kills, but recharges by sucking the negative out. Kind of no good deed goes unpunished and no bad deed goes unrewarded!

    As for motivation to change genres, I've always believed in challenges. What fits? What do I write the best? How do I know which genre is better for me to write if I don't attempt as many genres as I can?

    Nora Roberts writes romance but also uses history, the present and the future. She has expanded her own writing by challenging herself to writing in different eras. Toss in murder, politics, fantasy, science fiction, and she's one of the most well-genred writers I know. It should also be noted that Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, also wrote a pure romance way back when – just to see if he could. Not bad people to have as role models!

    But it's the initial idea that dictates the genre. I don't think any writer should restrict themselves, published or unpublished. Some genres are more comfortable for me, like science fiction, science fantasy and murder mysteries. Others are definitely an uncomfortable fit, like Young Adult (how explicit can you be?), or horror (laughed myself silly when I re-read it.) or esoteric, or supposed literature (I'm not going there. Ever. Fiction should be entertaining, not depressing.)

    At the fundamental level of all writers is potential. What the writer sees as possible, even the impossible becomes the genesis of new work. And with all those possibilities, why restrict yourself to one genre?

  26. You did. Mucho grateful for your hard work, too!

    How do I choose the genre? The facetious answer would be it chooses me, but I look around this world of ours – the natural and invented – and an idea will pop. For example, the current WIP came from watching a commercial for The Dresden Files. Harry has a ball of blue magic in his hand. But what if the recharge/use of magic had opposite effects? The blue magic heals but to recharge, it sucks the positive out of someone. Red magic kills, but recharges by sucking the negative out. Kind of no good deed goes unpunished and no bad deed goes unrewarded!

    As for motivation to change genres, I’ve always believed in challenges. What fits? What do I write the best? How do I know which genre is better for me to write if I don’t attempt as many genres as I can?

    Nora Roberts writes romance but also uses history, the present and the future. She has expanded her own writing by challenging herself to writing in different eras. Toss in murder, politics, fantasy, science fiction, and she’s one of the most well-genred writers I know. It should also be noted that Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, also wrote a pure romance way back when – just to see if he could. Not bad people to have as role models!

    But it’s the initial idea that dictates the genre. I don’t think any writer should restrict themselves, published or unpublished. Some genres are more comfortable for me, like science fiction, science fantasy and murder mysteries. Others are definitely an uncomfortable fit, like Young Adult (how explicit can you be?), or horror (laughed myself silly when I re-read it.) or esoteric, or supposed literature (I’m not going there. Ever. Fiction should be entertaining, not depressing.)

    At the fundamental level of all writers is potential. What the writer sees as possible, even the impossible becomes the genesis of new work. And with all those possibilities, why restrict yourself to one genre?

  27. Jaye, I'm not going to lie, but you sort of blew my mind. I find it amazing that you can jump genres like that. I've attempted fantasy, I've done poetry, and I've dabbled with short stories. But to me, it feels like my calling is the historical romance. The historical romance is the one that speaks to me in my dreams, and haunts me in my waking hours…and even though I read just about every genre imaginable, I can't seem to tear myself away from historical fiction. In fact, I don't really want to.

    What I'm trying to say is that I really admire the fact that you're pushing yourself to be a multi-genre author.

  28. Jaye, I’m not going to lie, but you sort of blew my mind. I find it amazing that you can jump genres like that. I’ve attempted fantasy, I’ve done poetry, and I’ve dabbled with short stories. But to me, it feels like my calling is the historical romance. The historical romance is the one that speaks to me in my dreams, and haunts me in my waking hours…and even though I read just about every genre imaginable, I can’t seem to tear myself away from historical fiction. In fact, I don’t really want to.

    What I’m trying to say is that I really admire the fact that you’re pushing yourself to be a multi-genre author.

  29. Thank you, Belinda.

    I have tried to write historical fiction, but I just couldn't help but put that small element of supernatural into it. Dunno why.

    I'm also an avid fan of the History Channel, an amateur genealogist and studied history at Uni. There's nothing like rummaging around in the guts of history, the sheer adventure of it. But… I don't write historical fiction; go figure.

    Perhaps I'm taking the easy way out. When you imagine future worlds, or fantasy worlds, you don't need as much research, just a focus on what works, what doesn't and the reasonable consequences. Is a genre easier to write because of that?

    If you've found the genre you love to write in, that is great; don't try to change it. Your subconscious has found its niche and to mess with that kind of talent is askin' fer trubble.

  30. Thank you, Belinda.

    I have tried to write historical fiction, but I just couldn’t help but put that small element of supernatural into it. Dunno why.

    I’m also an avid fan of the History Channel, an amateur genealogist and studied history at Uni. There’s nothing like rummaging around in the guts of history, the sheer adventure of it. But… I don’t write historical fiction; go figure.

    Perhaps I’m taking the easy way out. When you imagine future worlds, or fantasy worlds, you don’t need as much research, just a focus on what works, what doesn’t and the reasonable consequences. Is a genre easier to write because of that?

    If you’ve found the genre you love to write in, that is great; don’t try to change it. Your subconscious has found its niche and to mess with that kind of talent is askin’ fer trubble.

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