I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of stories lately in an attempt to find out the types of stories I want to write. I’m an eclectic reader and never favour one genre. I’ll read almost anything. Why should we be limited by genre?
Should stories teach a lesson? Should they lift the human spirit out of the gutter? Should they be political? Should be be a mirror to the world? Are they Art or Entertainment?
I’ve decided to ignore categories. For me stories and films have always been about escape. Whether I’m watching Star Wars or reading Chekhov it is always a moment of escape. I leave my own limited existence and for a while I live another life.
There’s a great episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season 5:The Inner Light) in which Jean-Luc Picard is psychically linked with a probe floating in deep space, and while he’s linked he lives another life through the memories of a man who had lived a thousand years before on a dying planet. While there Picard is a father, husband and scientist, and dies. He lives a complete other life, he even learns to play a Ressikan flute.
It’s a great episode and encapsulates what I’d like to create in my own stories. Another world for readers to escape into.
I’m an eclectic reader, but whether I read Homer, Roald Dahl, Carver or Asimov I escape.
Why do you write stories? Does genre really matter?