Origin Stories

Ask a groupTolkien1 of twenty-three writers why they write, and you’re going to get twenty-three different answers. I should know, because that’s exactly what I started doing a week ago in preparation for this month’s Fictorian Era coverage.

Specifically, I wanted to know what kind of pop culture stories really inspired them. Almost everyone had something in particular that lit a fire under them, whether it be a movie, a television series, a video game, a series of novels… or whatever. And I got some pretty eclectic answers, ones which I never could have expected. Saturday morning cartoons are represented, as are popular lines of kids toys. For others, pop culture didn’t factor into the equation at all.

I half-expected to get a dozen or more people wanting to wax eloquent about the magical influence of J.R.R. Tolkien, and yet I was pleased to discover almost no overlap. Like I said, all the posts you’re going to read this month are very different from each other. Yes, you’ll read about Tolkien, but you’re also in store for posts about Robert Heinlein and C.S. Lewis, Godzilla and Planet of the Apes, Star Wars and Star Trek. We’ve even got some Harlequin up our sleeves. How about Dean Koontz? Yep. Not to mention Stephen King and Robertson Davies. Not familiar with that one? You will be by the time we roll into June.

Even though our influences are divergent, the resulting passion and drive is pretty much universal. Almost everyone I approached to write for the blog this month said yes without hesitation, because it’s a subject that is near and dear. It turns out that our individual origin stories are the stories we are most eager to tell.

Because every writer has an origin story, the point when they transformed from a Regular Joe or Jane into a storytelling superhero. The details may be different, but the narrative is the same. So join us every day this month (except for Sundays), pull up a chair, and reminisce about the stories that have changed us and made us who we are. If you’re anything like me, reading the words of your fellow writers will make you nostalgic.

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