Monday, April 2, 2012

The 5 Ws and 1 H of me

Back in December when I was still unemployed I had a friend I used to work with ask me to speak to her creative writing class.

I’ve never been a  great public speaker, but something that I read at the time suggested that if you want to be a successful author you need to be comfortable in front of people. So, I went.

It went fine.  The class was nice. They paid attention, well, most of them. At the end there was a time for questions. Right away, one of the people in the class – I think it was one of the campus’ librarians – asked what kind of writer I was. I gave some rambling answer  about genre and how all my stories seem to have some kind of crime involved somewhere, whether it’s big or small.

I was happy with the answer and moved on. I answered a few more questions when a kid in the front asked me “Why do you write about crime?”  Great follow-up, and it gave me an idea for a series of blogs.

When I was in school – well, when most of us were in school – I learned about the 5 Ws and an H. The questions words. Who. What. Where. When. Why. How.

Why is crime a central part of nearly all my fiction was something I’d never explored. Then, as I thought more about it. I’d never answered the other questions about my writing. Like “Who am I as a writer?” “Why do I write?” “What do I write?”

Maybe it was something I should do. Maybe it was something that could be useful. So that’s what I’m doing. For the next few Mondays I’ll be taking a hard look at those questions and try to answer them.  

Hope you enjoy it. Hope I get something out of it.

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