I read Nalo Hopkins Midnight Robber, Kiese Laymon’s Long Division, and N.K. Jemisin’s second and third book of the Inheritance Trilogy after making it a point to read more diverse books last month. The Midnight Robber especially made an impression on me because it’s set in a completely non-eurocentric world with a non-eurocentric dialect spoken by all of the creatures. It made me feel a little silly about writing books about elves, dwarves and giants. So this is my insecurity for December: not being creative enough to invent my own world.
I pitched my novel to an agent earlier this year and he asked me why I was using Tolkien like characters. I thought he was crazy for asking me that question. How could I not write a book with those characters? But now I see what he’s talking about. Being original is good, but hopefully writing a great story is just as good.
I wrote my novel as it was told to me, and mostly it was written as a way to insert myself into the stories I loved as a kid that were not diverse. So when I remember why I write, I feel less silly about my dwarves, elves, and giants.
I want to say my next series will not have Tolkien like characters, but I can’t. In fact, the title of my next book is called “Giants”. Hmm… I need to write what I want to read, not what others expect for me to write.
Check out the other insecure writers here.