When I started writing, I didn’t really think “what I wanted to say” with a particular story. With most of it streaming into my head like a movie, I didn’t stop to consider why “this story” was one that needed to be told now. In fact, I didn’t question at all, I just “documented” what I saw and published it.
Granted, I have always been aware of how my own life has shaped characters and influenced events in the D’mok literary universe.
But something has changed. It’s not the plans for the series (with its many branches). “That” story stills needs to be told. However, rather than just infusing my life into the details and nuance of characters and events, I feel this call-to-action to integrate social commentary.
Early reviews for my Weun Academy manuscript, that focuses on school violence, have been amazing! People are really connecting with the characters, and commenting on how their effected by the attack. This has really opened my eyes. Beyond writing a slick action-packed story, or cleaver romp in the future, I finally understand the value of “saying something.”
Looking back, my fourth novel covered the topics of broken families. The fifth covered the topic of school violence. My new project, Toriko’s Army, is shaping up to tackle the rise of artificial intelligence and society’s response. I guess that societal commentary was already weaving into the DNA of my books. This is a great thing! This approach will certainly strengthen the case for “why this story now?”
I can’t wait to see how my latest work shapes up! Regardless of my “early previews” into the story, the details that flesh it out are always an amazing surprise!