Wednesday, October 06, 2021

IWSG: Where do we draw the line?

Amazing October! For the last month, we've been staying in an adobe-style house just outside Santa Fe. The leaves are beginning to turn, the temperature at night is starting to drop, and it's far too soon to be heading north to home.

Santa Fe has been a delight with its emphasis on art, museums, pueblo culture, and the sheer beauty of its landscape (rolling hills, purple mountains, and incredibly blue skies), lots of ravens, and green chile-infused New Mexican cuisine. I should have had plenty of time to write, yes? Not when we're traveling with four other people who want to go in different directions at the same time.

But I can answer the Insecure Writer's Support Group question for October: Where do I draw the line -- with either topics or language. 


Revelation #1: Some of my character cuss. 

Revelation #2: Nearly all of my characters' bedroom scenes take place behind a closed door. 

Revelation #3: I hope that I follow my characters wherever they wish to go. That means I haven't yet met a topic for a story that intrigues me that I'm willing to put aside because of some inner censorship or social expectation. Isn't the goal of a writer, regardless of the story, to seek 'truth' as we know it, perhaps to challenge what we think we know about ourselves and our culture? 

One squishy issue remains: What is my story and what belongs to others? At first, when a male character took over the story line, I doubted. Could I understand the male psyche? Be true to who this character was? 

If my characters and/or story 'live' well outside my experience, does research give me enough insight? What line do I cross when I explore cultures far outside my experience? Even if I write in good faith, how do I respect what truly belongs to others? 

Now back to real life: We leave this paradise in 3 days for maybe 10 days of driving on our way home by way of various national parks, to explore, hike, take pictures, and dream just a little longer of once faraway places -- and our place in this world.

To celebrate the writing lives of those who follow the Insecure Writer's Support Group, you may take advantage of a freebie, starting October 6 through October 10th! The Seventh Tapestry: An Art Crime Mystery has a new cover, and the Kindle version will be available free. 

I'm offering this as a thank you to everyone who writes and reads with hopes you'll continue to find pleasure each day . . . Stay safe and well!

And try to visit our October 6 IWSG hosts to say thank you: Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard.