The 7 C's of Why I Write

I'm teaching an interim class on writing fiction at my alma mater, Trinity Christian College. I came up with this list on our first day of class and thought I'd share it.

The 7 C's of Why I Write


Every writer needs to be curious. The more curious, the more likely you're able to open yourself up to new worlds and new perspectives. If you can start asking "What if?" and keep it going, you might be able to start and finish a novel.


Writing has always been an outlet for me and a way to express feelings and emotions I sometimes never knew I had. Writing novels continues to do this. I can explore fears and emotions and questions in the form of fiction. Sometimes it can be very freeing.


I've always loved making up stories and imagining other scenarios. I've always loved creating worlds and characters and plots since I was in third grade.


Everyone always has people in their life that they'd like to write about. The crazy family, the odd friend, the bizarre neighbor. Since I moved around so much, I think I've managed to stockpile a list of unique characters. Sometimes I'm able to put them into my stories.


I say this because every story has been told. One of the things I try to do is take the stories that mean a lot to me, whether they're novels or movies, and put my own spin on them. Sometimes the influence is obvious, but sometimes people have no idea. I like doing that and continue to tell stories this way.


Anybody writing fiction has to be brave and somewhat fearless (or maybe even egotistical) to think they have a unique story to tell. There's a part of me that believes that I have unique stories to tell in a unique way. This is the competitive side of me that says "I'll show them all." I keep trying, keep hoping, keep striving that one day I will.


Continuing that train of thought, anybody writing fiction has to be a bit crazy to want to add to the millions of novels already out there. But hey, a lot of novelists have been shown to be slightly crazy. Why else write? Why not get a normal job that pays the bills intead of giving you ulcers? Why not work for someone else instead of writing stories for yourself? Why embark on this crazy adventure called writing? Being crazy sure helps.