Sunday, November 14, 2021

A Look Into the 'Real' World

When revising my website this year, I spent time considering how to describe my writing. Not in terms of genres, but how to put forth broader perspectives. This is what I came up with:

What makes Elaine’s fiction different from other traditional mysteries? Some might say the dry humor (only a few say lame), but she thinks it is the empathy her characters show to others. Fiction can’t ‘lecture’ readers. But it can contain people whose paths we cross every day — whether we know it or not. The bright colleague or grouchy neighbor who’s actually in severe emotional pain, the families struggling to provide enough food for their children, the vet with PTSD. 

While characters solve crimes or plan silly fundraisers, they can tacitly let us know there is a world beyond those activities. And maybe they can make it a little better.

I don't "have" to embody these ideas in stories, but they seem to arise naturally for me. The challenge is to convey the daily world in a way that fits in with the stories without implying that people should behave in a certain way.

Fiction offer the chance for characters to move beyond their routines. It's not every day a person falls in love, finds a body, or saves the world. While they're they're solving a crime, maybe there's a chance to show a little kindness. As long as things stay interesting.

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To learn more about Elaine, go to or sign up for her newsletter

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elaine,
    Yes! It is so important to be able to communicate to people about our writing. I have been discussing ‘finding your voice’ with another writer on the Stage 32 website. What I’m finding is that in reading about other writers when they talk about their work, has helped me define mine.

    I’ve decided after reading interviews with James Baldwin that my calling is to be a writer who ‘disturbs the peace’.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts.