Today's blog entry is brought to you by the music that accompanies the dancing Groot. I know it's a stretch, but hey, dancing Groot.
I'd like to think of this as the "good twin" to my Been There, Done That entry. I want to talk about the stories and ideas we keep coming back to, the themes that keep showing up in our writing, all that sort of thing. This is about both what and why, as I think it's important to ask ourselves why we write what we do.
Even it's just "Because I think it's cool", which is a perfectly legit answer.
First thing that I keep coming back to: people with powers. I don't mean just magic or the like, I mean people with specific abilities that are unique to them. This comes from reading a bunch of X-Men comics when I was younger, especially 'Generation X', which featured a cast of young mutants dealing with their newly-discovered powers. Thanks to those, I think I'm forever set on writing stories that have people coming into some kind of new abilities and learning how to use them.
The fun part is, that sort of thing is both character development and plot device all in one, so it tends to work really well in stories. I just think it's endlessly fascinating to watch people learn how to deal with something strange and new that could get them into all kinds of trouble, which leads into the next thing I keep coming back to: people gaining power from gods.
The first book I ever wrote had people receiving power from their gods to go forth and undo some sort of magic that was turning the world's dragons against just about everyone. I don't remember all the details because I started the thing in 1998, finished it in 2001, and it was a terrible book that I've largely tried to forget. But the theme of gaining power from gods is something I'm still incorporating into my plots. I read a bunch of Greek mythology growing up, but I never found the gods as interesting as I did the mortals who were born from them. Those stories featured people with abilities mere mortals were never meant to have, which brought about their own new and dangerous set of problems.
Back then, I didn't quite understand that throwing an endless stream of problems at your main characters was a key factor in writing a book, but hey, live and learn. At least my little obsessions make for decent plots.
The last thing I keep coming back to is something I've touched on before: I like writing non-traditional relationships. Writing fantasy makes this easy, thankfully. Have races other than humans? Excellent, start hooking people up. ^_^ I don't know that I have any great reasoning or motivation behind this, I just think the standard boy-meets-girl stuff is boring and has been done to death. The urban fantasy series I once wrote went through thirty-one parts - its entire first series - before it had a couple comprised of two humans. So you might say I'm a fan of this sort of thing.
I know this can, of course, be seen as a metaphor for non-traditional relationships here on Earth. And sometimes I do see it like that. But most of the time, it's just seeing how characters bounce off each other during plotting and hoping things work out in this direction, especially if they're two very different people. Hell, I still want to write a beauty-and-beast style relationship where the woman's the beastly one and the guy thinks it's awesome.
So, your turn. What sorts of things keep showing up in your stories? Why do you keep writing them? And if you don't, why not?