“You write what?” A Speculative Fiction writer’s answer.

Posted by: Rebecca.

It’s interesting to me when people find out you’re a writer, they get excited and the first question they ask, “What do you write?”  When I answer speculative fiction, the question, and their excitement, turns inside out and shape shifts into, “You write what?”

I’ve found two responses coincide with that fateful question: 1. Their brow furrows, and they stand there staring at you. OR 2. After you’ve explained, their brow furrows, and they reply, “Hmm. I don’t really like that kind of stuff.”

superherosTo which I cannot help replying, “Really, you never liked Superman? Star Wars? Narnia?” Then I’ve hooked them. Their eyes light up, and stories of their favorite super hero, Twilight Zone or Dr. Who episode, or some other favorite book or movie surface.

I’ve found most people actually DO like speculative fiction, a lot, and why wouldn’t they?

We’ve got the best story worlds, space and time travel, gadgets, amazing weapons, Elves, Fairies, monsters, creatures, etc. We encompass science fiction, fantasy, dystopian, steampunk, horror, utopian, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, even alternate history. The fantastical…the just plain weird.

And, (Sigh) there have been those who ask, “How can you be a Christian and write stuff like that?”

Grr Hmm. (Face.In.Palm.) I can only ask one question, “Have you read the Bible lately?” ‘Nough said. 🙂

books1I don’t mean any disrespect, and I understand people have different convictions and views. I have yet to meet a Christian speculative fiction writer who is writing out of rebellion, to stir up controversy, or to cause someone to stumble. I believe God has given each writer a gift and a story only they can tell, to an audience only they can reach. Some of that audience just happens to like the weird stuff.

If you look closely, you will find that the worlds we create and write about, the characters and creatures, even the magic and villains, have rules to follow, they suffer the consequences of their evil actions, and reap the rewards of good decisions.

I think my good friend and fellow author, Bridgett Powers, had an interesting thought on writing in this genre, “Writing speculative fiction is like coloring a picture. Most people would think of it as coloring outside the lines, but often it involves nothing so rebellious as that. It’s just having the imagination and the vision to blend the colors everyone already uses to create new, more vivid hues.”

So, to answer the shape shifted question, I like to blend the colors we all use to create new ones, and yes, I write the weird stuff.

What speculative fiction books have you read? What is your WIP about?

Your turn to Shed Your Light below…

About the author:

RebeccaRebecca Bergren is a writer with the ability to redefine clichés and travel through time with the mysterious, quirky cast of her novels. Life’s lessons have also inspired her to weave a message of hope and God’s restoration power into her heartwarming screenplays and humorous short pieces.

Rebecca is a member of ACFW, MyBookTherapy, Write Now Writers’ Group, and Writing Craft Girls critique circle. She lives in Minnesota with one fabulous man, three spunky kids, and a marshmallow-eating Labrador.


About Rebecca

Novelist, screenwriter, devourer of books, homeschool mom

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