|Flickr Credit: Gregory Gill|
Well, maybe not so secret. I feel certain I’ve whined about at least on here somewhere. Sometimes it is simply the drama that follows these writers, other times I hate them. They are too silly for me to admire them.
I’ve always wondered why. If we are writers, shouldn’t we have a good concept of our work? Apparently not. I think many writers tend to glamorize the profession or allow the fictional character to experience the career he or she always wanted. Fiction is their place to explore publishing pipe dreams. It doesn’t usually make good reading. However, there are a few times when writers manage to pinpoint what the writer’s experience looks like (from my experience, anyway). They might just be better pipe dreams.
Ponyboy from The Outsiders—Ponyboy doesn’t lie about why he writes his book. He wants to pass a class at school. The Outsiders is his homework. My own interest in writing started in homework assignments, so his story feels familiar. In addition, while Ponyboy acknowledges that he is the writer, his story isn’t about writing. It’s about what is true and what is gold. That is even better than writing.
The Leverage Crew from The Bestseller Job—I love the scenario in this book precisely because it’s so absurd. To complete a con, the team writes a 100,000 word book in one day so that they can rope their opponent into the deal. I’ve never been under that kind of pressure, but the scene still hit on a few key ideas. First drafts aren’t meant to be pretty, they’re just meant to be there and semi-coherent and that’s what they get. Also, the soul-sucking and the junk food and the glazed eyes were too real.
Rick Castle from Castle—okay, if we’re calling out fictional writers for being gray imaginings representing nothing similar to real life, then let’s call out Castle. No one is a writer the way Castle is a writer. Of this I am 95% sure. But that’s not the point. The point is that he’s a person. He has a family and relationships and an interest in murder mysteries and justice. Like before, his story isn’t about being a writer. It’s about being something bigger. And being bigger than a writer... it means a lot.
There are other decent fictional writers, but these are the ones I’ve devoted most of my time to. I certainly haven’t found anyone better. They make me smile. They have something important to say. I think I can learn something from them. Also, sometimes it is good to have small lists.