Meandering

Meandering Monday about My Focus on Control

A while back, our writing group had a guest speaker (GS) who advised us on our visibility as writers. There are tons of writers out there, especially with eBooks and indie-publishing. It isn’t enough to tell people what genre you write in, there are sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres ad infinitum. A reader may like fantasy, but if you’re writing epic swords and sorcery fantasy and their thing is paranormal romance, they probably won’t get past the first page of your book.

Even getting your sub-sub-sub…-sub genre right isn’t enough.

Our GS suggested that – to distinguish ourselves from other writers in our genre – we should examine what it is that we write about. Is there a common theme that runs through our writing?

I used to have a casual feel for this. To date I have completed 108 pieces of short fiction and one novel. I’m fond of time travel (I do it as often as I can 😉 ), but that is more a sub-sub than a theme, and that wasn’t what our GS was getting at. There are certain topics that seemed to come up in my writing more often than others. Mind control figures in several of my pieces. But it isn’t the only kind of control I write about – it looks like my overriding theme is CONTROL. Control of your mind, your soul, your life, your destiny. Keeping it, taking it, losing it.

Preventing someone else from controlling, beating, enslaving others.

Why is that theme so prevalent in my writing? If I look back on my life, I see instances where I let others take control of my decisions. Peer pressure, mob rule. Or where I’ve lost self control for internal reasons and made poor decisions. When I was much younger I might have lost CONTROL of my emotions – let them get the best of me and acted stupidly. Maybe I have regrets, wish I had CHOSEN WISELY instead.

Many of my favorite songs and movies are about taking control and going your own way. A Knight’s Tale. Invincible. The Impossible Dream. My Way.

Maybe my need for control governs everything I do. A funny thing about all this is that – when I write I give up control to whatever is letting these words come out. But then, I do reassert control when I’m done, don’t I?

Just Saying…

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Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

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