Writing to entertain

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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NOVEMBER QUESTION: Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Connor said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

MY ANSWER: Obviously, I’m not as profound as either of the writers quoted in the question. I write speculative fiction, usually light-hearted, sometimes infused with dry humor. Ask my readers from the WEP community, and they might tell you more about my stories and my characters. Some of them laugh at my stories, which makes me happy.

As to why I write this type of fiction: because that’s what I want to read, and this kind of stories are hard to find in speculative fiction. Lots of speculative fiction writers these days write dark, psychological tales of wars and conflict, of fighting and struggling and hopelessness. They write about deeply flawed heroes and lightless corners of the human psyche. I don’t like such stories. I don’t read them and I don’t write them. Instead, I read simply to entertain myself, and I write for the same purpose: to entertain myself and my readers. I want my readers to smile and relax and forget their troubles for as long as it takes them to read my stories.

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18 Responses to Writing to entertain

  1. Diane Burton says:

    I agree with you, Olga. I’m not fond of dark and gritty. I want to be entertained, to laugh, and maybe cry. In the end, I want to have hope.

  2. Exactly! So many are dark and twisted. I don’t want heavy and unhappy. Get that enough in the real world.

  3. I like all forms of speculative fiction, though I probably wouldn’t be able to pull off humorous works despite my love for authors like Terry Pratchett. Also, since I love cyberpunk, I guess most of my work involves grittiness and hopelessness. But that’s the awesome thing about writing isn’t it? We all write what we want to read, as it should be. Thanks for this post, Olga!

  4. I read across genres, themes and moods. That said, there is ALWAYS room for light-hearted reading. Now perhaps more than ever.

  5. Denise Covey says:

    Like my taste in most things, I read a wide range of genres and don’t mind a bit of dystopian. Dark tales with humor are awesome, but rare. The series you’ve been writing using WEP prompts is award worthy.

  6. soniadogra says:

    That’s a wonderful reason to write Olga. We do need that dose of humour.

  7. patgarcia says:

    Hi,
    That’s a wonderful reason for writing. You know why.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  8. I don’t like stories that are too dark and gritty either. It’s good to write what you like to read.

  9. Jennifer Lee Hawes says:

    I, too, write the stories that I want to read. So simple, yet full of truth!

  10. Jemi Fraser says:

    There will always be a place for light-hearted, feel-good stories like yours! I think (hope?) we all learn to write with our hearts and what is important for us. Spreading joy works!

  11. Loni Townsend says:

    Yes, you’ve definitely gotta write what you like to read! Who else is gonna do it, right?

  12. cleemckenzie says:

    I appreciate a story that leaves me feeling positive yet still thinking about the characters and their struggle. If a story makes me smile or laugh, I’m ever so grateful!

  13. I love the stories you write; they are entertaining, just outstanding. I don’t have that kind of talent, but I do go into the darker areas of life. I find that interesting, and enjoy exploring it. So many genres and lots of different writers, just like the world, a melting pot. So everyone has a choice!

    I do hope you are feeling well! Thinking of you!

  14. Thank you Olga. Please keep writing your entertaining stories.

  15. emaginette says:

    I hear that. You are the alpha reader after all. That is what got me started in fiction. The fact I wanted a different story and it wasn’t out there. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  16. yvettecarol says:

    Yes, that’s so important to write what we love. How would we find the fuel to keep going through the endless rounds of editing otherwise?

  17. We need more sci fi and fantasy that are on the lighter and more hopeful side. It’s really awesome that people like you are writing them. I’ve been trying to go the more overtly optimistic direction with some of my stories as well, knowing that the world needs more of an overtly hopeful message.

  18. jlennidorner says:

    Lighthearted spec fic. Start a new genre! Add comedy to the Spec Fic Venn diagram.
    I hope your November went as well as it could and that you’ll experience joy in the coming holiday season.
    There’s a giveaway on my blog that ends today, if you’re interested.

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