Saturday, September 13, 2008

Falling Arrows

As writers we are living in a very dynamic time. Each day I turn on the TV to another massive hurricane, flood, or earthquake. Mankind is being cornered and the arrows are in flight. Will your cozy mystery about a sleuth finding a serial killer be relevant in the wake of the real time movie playing out before us? I think not.

If you survive your tomorrow, start writing about it. You are the observer that sees beyond the sound bite. You aren’t squeezed into a two minute time slot or tethered to lamppost in a Category 5 storm commenting on the high winds. You are capable of bringing the world the human story like no other group of people. Write your hearts out and bring your critique group to tears.

If you ever were in want of a plot, a storyline or setting that would be the backdrop for your breakout novel, just stand on your toes and look around. We have the Russian Empire reemerging, monthly biblical sized disasters, social unrest, the American Dream being sold down the river by politician bent on spending for wars, families being crushed by shabby deals perpetrated by unethical loan officers, major financial centers duped by mutual funds filled with fraudulent underwriters, the African continent being dissolved into human tragedy, and who can count the greedy CEOs out competing for the longest yacht. I can’t think of a time when mankind has been more self-indulgent or self-destructive. We are even taken the planet down with us.

If you can’t find an exciting topic to write about or a human story in these times, turn your pen back in. You need to find another occupation.

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