November 28, 2006

Oh No, It's Another Writer...

I am reading Clive Barker's Everville at the moment (intriguing story, but that's not what this is about) and one of the characters mentioned how she writes screenplays for a living. Gee, I never saw that coming. Now, I have written dozens and dozens (and dozens) of short stories, but I have never written any characters as writers.

Why the hell do so many novelists feel the need to do it?

I understand about the whole 'write-what-you-know' philosophy, but sometimes you read it and think: make him a fireman for Christ's sake! I could care less about this guy's latest idea! Are they collectively running out of ideas or what? Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of it, but it grates a bit nonetheless.

And before you start, I know what you're thinking: Brian, you are not a published novelist, so it's apples and oranges. Fair enough, but I've had lots of jobs as well, and only once have I seen fit to share it with one of my protagonists (checkout operator, if you must pry).


Emmy Ellis said...

Does my head in too. Surprising how many short stories have them in as well.

GRRR. Makes me just want to put the book down.

The top bug in horror submissions at the moment is:

Kids go into the woods camping. Beast kills them all.



Sophie Playle said...

I've noticed Stephen King's done that quite a bit. From what I know, that is.

Steven J. Dines said...

I don't have a problem with it, really. Unless the character's occupation is vital to the plot, which it isn't more often than not, I don't mind what profession they're in.

Capulet - yeah, at a guess half or even two-thirds of King's work features a protagonist who is a writer, but if the story works I don't believe it does any damage overall. Of course, aspiring writers like ourselves probably wouldn't get away with it - we have to show more originality than the pros...

Brian G Ross said...

Eck, I've never done a 'kids-go-into-woods' story... perhaps it's an avenue I can explore!

Steve, I know. We do have to be more original (yes, that's a juxtaposition) but I would like to see a little more from those big guys as well.

Cap, yeah. He does.