Writing as though it matters
Jonathan Coe wrote in Like A Fiery Elephant, his biography of BS Johnson, that Johnson’s credo was to write as though it matters. Coe wrote: Novel writing is … an act of lunatic faith in the notion that by adding something to the world we might be improving it.
People ask me how writing novels counts as writing as though it matters. After all fiction is merely made-up stories isn’t it? Many novelists more erudite than me (Will Self springs to mind!) have made the case for fiction as so I won’t rehearse the arguments here. All I will say is that it matters to me.
My interest in movies has led me to combine film and story-making to create a new genre of novels that I have dubbed film-fiction (abbreviated to “Fliction”). My novels from Out of Such Darkness onwards qualify as fliction in that they borrow inspiration and themes and from classic movies.
But does it result in writing that matters? Well, an early reader of Out of Such Darkness said: “It’s a topical reminder that acceptable jingoism and zealotry are only one act away from extremist atrocity.” The book is about extremism of many stripes and in this respect it’s not comfortable reading. But it’s also a page-turner driven along by characters and their stories and structured in a way that I hope commits the reader to care about how it ends.
To my mind fliction, like the movies it draws on, should be entertaining and thought-provoking, and when it succeeds in this it is writing as though it matters.
Out of Such Darkness published by Patrician Press is available to order from your favourite bookstore or in both e-book and paperback versions from my publishers
My first novel No Mean Affair published by Foxwell Press is available in paperback to order from your favourite bookstore or in both Kindle and paperback versions from Amazon.
Or if you would like a signed copy of either book e-mail me direct: email@example.com