Jessica Day George

Monday, December 3, 2007

I have a worldview?

An alert reader recently asked me how my worldview informed my writing. This question, I must admit, made me feel rather dense for a little while. My worldview? I thought. Do I have one? I actually had to ask my husband and my friend Rachel B. (we have been blessed with several Rachels, not a plethora, but close), what my worldview was. I tend not to define things like that.

The question made both of them laugh.

I explained to that this question had taken me aback, since I tend not to think about "the world." Thus their hilarity. They both knew this, my husband more so than anyone. "You don't think about the world," he reminded me. "You get angry and frustrated, and then you go and read a book a feel better."

This, sadly is true. The reason why I write fiction, and fantasy fiction in particular, is because I prefer the worlds I make up in my heads to what's going on around me. I wouldn't say I'm hiding, I am aware of world events. But rather than rant and rave all day long about things that I can't control, I choose to read a book. Or write one.

I don't have any agenda in my books, I'm not trying to convert my readers to my religion, or political party, or even say that we should all turn off the news and read fantasy all day long instead. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) What I want most to do with my books is tell a good story. A story about people being brave and good and loyal and hopefully making wise decisions, but also a story about laughter and excitement and suspense and hope and even a little romance.

After talking this out with Rachel B., with her degrees in political science and her ambition to one day rule the Senate, she had to admit that my worldview had some good points. For one thing, I'm less likely at the end of the day to get enraged and have to chug a can of Pepsi to relax (how caffeine and sugar relax her, I don't know). For another, I get a lot of reading done.

So I suppose that we might say that I view the world from over the top of the book I'm reading, and when that isn't enough of a shield, I go have a bit of a write in a world where there are dragons and magic and the good guys triumph.


Anonymous said...

That is exactly how I view the world.

Anonymous said...

Ditto! ;) I like having a world view where you feel like you have power to change the bad situation. That you're part of the solution rather than the audience watching but not touching.