On this fine Wednesday morning, we have a guest essay from dark fiction writer Kody Boye…have a read, and be sure to check out his current and upcoming works at http://kodyboye.com/
Why I Write
One of the first things we learn about writing is the reason why people write—to entertain, to inform, to educate. For some, writing is a simple form of expression, something they keep to themselves for fear of being ridiculed or humiliated. For others, writing is so much more. But to those who write fiction—whether it be horror, romance, crime or something else—there is always a set goal a writer sets out to accomplish when setting his pen to paper or his fingers to his keys.
When I first started seriously writing back in 2006, I wrote simply to tell stories and to hopefully have people enjoy them. However, in the past year-and-a-half (particularly since the beginning of 2009,) I’ve been writing for a completely different reason, one that most would probably find noble in regard to the overall creation of my craft.
Why do I write, you ask?
I write to impact those who read my work.
After reading that sentence, you’re probably thinking—Impact? What are you writing that impacts me? That in itself is a question left up for personal interpretation. However, little of what I write nowadays is without some kind of inner metaphor for something much greater in the grand scheme of things.
For example—one of the stories within my collection Amorous Things deals with the process of what happens after death and how, even though you have physically passed on, people still care for you. Crime scene investigators, morticians, grave keepers, preachers—so many people are involved in a process that is ultimately meant to put those around you at ease, yet few ever truly realize this at the time of such happenings. Funerals are events we are quick to put behind us, if only because of the pain they bring, but what about the people who work with the dead? How are they impacted by those they work with, the people they care for after they have died?
That, dear reader, is the question that ran through my head when I wrote my story An Amorous Thing, and that same type of question is constantly floating throughout my mind. There is always a big What if? clouding the frontal lobe of my brain, the section of the human mind that processes emotion and gives life to the personality each and every person on the planet has. When one of these What ifs? run through my mind, I begin to process it like most ordinary people do—I think about it for a long, long time, then try to decide just what it means. When such processes begin to occur in my brain, I begin to relate these ideas into physical or emotional things.
For example, I have an overwhelming admiration and appreciation for mannequins because I feel sad for them. Why do I feel sad for them? Because I believe they lack the human qualities that they are designed to have, such is the reason I get depressed when I see a mannequin without its head. The correlation of having a head/mind and being able to think is a strong visual image, which in turn translates into an emotional one. When I have both a visual and emotional image of something and I feel as though it has a life beyond more than a simple idea, I flesh it into a creature of words and allow it to explain itself to those who may not have realized its story otherwise.
When I began having such emotional attachments to the work I create at the beginning of 2009, I knew I wanted to use my ability as a storyteller to open someone’s eyes to the possibility of something in a way that it is normally not represented. Whether I’m comparing the idea of sentience to something that does not have it or demonstrating the human quality of love to those who work on and around cadavers, I’m attempting to enlighten people to a different way of thinking. When I’m not attempting to enlighten someone about something, I attempt to explain it in a way that might make it more understandable. With that in mind, you could consider the way I write a form of brainwashing, as I attempt to paraphrase something in the form of something else to make you believe it in a certain way, but for the sake of this article, I’ll simple say that I attempt to teach things when I write, albeit in a more rewarding format.
You’ve asked me why I write. I’ll respond with this: I write to teach. I write to enlighten. I write to understand.
Dark Genre Writer