How do writers weave stories about places and times and societies that don’t exist?
How can we ‘write what we know’ if we are making it all up?
The narrative of the story, the meat that hangs off its bones and the costumes we drape them in – that’s where the fiction lies.
The heart of the story, the skeleton that holds the whole thing up, is not the fabrication.
I have been asked, ‘Where do you come up with this stuff?’ as though my self-doubting protagonist and her loyal yet conflicted friends are not stripped right from my own experiences, simply because they dock their airship at floating islands instead of parking their Hyundais for a day of retail work at a strip mall.
Our minds are freed to imagine outer limits when we turn inward to firmly plant the core of our story in the deepest seated truths. Those emotions which are true regardless of facts or pretense. The effervescent body which makes up our human experience, whether we choose to proxy our character’s emotional journey in the body of a space octopus or fae princess.
All of these thoughts are circling my mind as I work through a variety of different projects for NaNoWriMo this month.
A thief crashing an aristocrat’s party; an invertebrate alien who discovers she knows less about where she came from than she thought; a young man on a journey to discover his goals; a secret agent who spends her whole day gardening. They’re all seeking the truth as best they can perceive it.
And me. The writer seeking the exact same thing through their stories.