On Writing: Questions to Ponder

David Gerrold, a science fiction writer, is guest hosting my blog today. He doesn’t know that he is; I only know him through his book, Worlds of Wonder. Although it is a book on how to write science fiction and fantasy, it’s a good reference for all of us who want to take our writing to another level. He not only explains certain concepts better than anyone I’ve ever read (such as, “The name of the game is Hurt the Hero! Why? Because if he doesn’t hurt, why should we care?”); he also philosophizes about writing. (“What you write has an effect on the people who read it. Words have meaning, ideas have consequences.”)

And he poses questions worth pondering:

As a human being, you make a difference. Simply by existing, simply by being in the room you make a difference. What kind of difference do you want to make as a writer?

Your book, your story, your script — whatever you write — that’s your way of challenging the world. What do you want to say to the rest of your species?

How do you take readers someplace else and make them glad they went?

How do you create an experience of another life so vivid and compelling that for the moment it exists in the mind, it obscures and obliterates the reader’s own life?

How do you transport human consciousness into the realm of exhilaration and transformation?

How can you get so deeply into the story that you are telling it from the inside?

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