What type writer am I? I can’t be a schlocky, low-quality pulpy guy or a literary writer, because of a lack of training, interests and personality. I have come back to the Hugh Howey space… interesting genre stories with subtle themes and messages. My head’s had gotten so twisted and turned, through experimentation with different writing and types of writing and endless advice that I lost sight of who I am.
The first two stories I wrote and published followed this idea. Unfair Advantage is a modern-realist story about fighting back and The Inspector’s Legacy is a post-apocalyptic story about making a tough choices. Hugh Howey’s writing, and his comments and thoughts on writing… he’s doing what I want to accomplish. His writing isn’t George Saunders or Margaret Atwood and his internal dialogue makes me wince. But he tells a compelling story with interesting characters. And he subtly infused the stories with themes and political opinions.
So where does this leave me? I’m having trouble finding a home for my completed stories (3 different pieces out to different publications). And I need to acknowledge where I am and what I can do, namely short genre stories. Which means I don’t have to adhere to all of literary writing’s rules… maybe an adverb or two isn’t the worst thing in the world. Make the stories and characters interesting, give them problems to overcome. And work on a set of stories in the same universe, much like David Mitchell. Have characters and world rules cross. Have a particular theme or idea for each story.
This path is warm and inviting. A collection of short stories. The stories will hang together… and each story can reveal a little more about the world, but still be a self-contained story.
And I’ll write it because I want to read it.