. I read an interview with J K Rowling this week (I’d give you the link, but I haven’t the faintest idea where to find it online – it was in one of those airplane magazines). In it, she said that she used to write about pixies and elves and wizards at school, and was told this was very nice, but she should try to write ‘proper’ stories.
I remember at school writing about aliens and ghosts and being told these stories were very good, but I should try to write proper ‘grown-up’ stories.
I tried, and I suspect J K Rowling did too. But I couldn’t do it. No matter what I tried to write, an element of creeping horror would slide in. And I still continued to write sci-fi fan fiction as a ‘hobby’, and enjoyed it a lot more. I felt like when I was writing ‘proper’ stories, I was battling against my true nature.
I’m relieved J K Rowling went back to the magic stories, because I love them. And seeing what she did, I gave in to and went back to the ghosts and aliens. Characters can be well-drawn and realistic, no matter when genre they are in. A complex plot is always a complex plot. And good writing is always good writing.
To quote my beloved Shakespeare – who knew a thing or two about good writing ‘To thy own self be true’. Even if your own self would rather write about pixies and wizards and ghosts.