Last time, I started a post on the delightful form of graphic novels from Japan known as manga. I commented on several facets of manga that make it so interesting to me – the visual aspect, its “realness,” how enjoyable it is to read – but I saved the most crucial element for last.
What I love most about these stories – the particular ones I read, at least – is that within them, I find a pervasive sense of hope. Somehow, the drama feels less serious, compared to a novel which leaves you biting your nails on the edge of your seat and you MUST read the next chapter (not that manga doesn’t have cliffhangers!). Perhaps that’s related to the art style – there is a bit of a cartoonish-nature to the drawings, and maybe that keeps the plot from seeming too worrisome. Even so, I feel there’s still something else about the way the stories are structured (although again, this may tie in more to the type I prefer to read, and be less typical of the genre itself) that leaves you convinced that even though things are tough right now, the story will get better. There is always hope.
And that is what my own books are all about. Hope is something that is important for me to convey in my writing. I’m an upbeat, look-on-the-bright-side kind of person, and I want my stories to showcase that. That’s why I started writing these novels in the first place! To give hope to the hopeless, to shine a light into the darkness… Is that not why stories are told? Even as far back as oral story-telling traditions, mankind has been using tales and myths of the strong to give encouragement to the weak. And perhaps my personal perpetual optimism is really just my own faith shining through: there is always hope, there is always peace, because God’s spirit is within me, and I am never alone ?.
So even when things get dark and all seems lost, I want my characters to be brave and plucky and face the future with humor (and potentially sarcasm :P). I know it’s natural for people to sometimes get depressed or give up hope, but I’m more interested in writing perseverance that reflecting reality. I mentioned in my post on contemporary romance that we need more “good examples” in our love stories today – likewise, we need more stories that encourage us to keep trying and not give up. I like to think of my writing as an example of what could or should be, rather than simply what is. Look for the hope I weave into my books – trust me, some will always be there!
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.