I have always described my writing as character-driven, not plot-driven. I envision a person facing a challenge of some kind with ___ (fill in the blank with adjectives describing positive qualities). To me, the personality traits are far more significant than the problem, and that is why I say my stories are character-driven, not plot-driven.
But there is a larger component. I describe myself as a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist. I recognize the serious challenges our world faces, but I believe human civilization will evolve into something better. Our jobs as parents, friends, neighbours, whatever - is to live the kinds of values we want to form the basis of that society. My writing is part of my effort towards that.
Many years ago I read an article lamenting the absence in so much writing of ordinary people doing ordinary things. As well, I am not by any stretch a poetry-person but one of the few snippets I remember is a few lines by Adrienne Rich -
I have to cast my lot with those Who age after age, perversely, With no extraordinary power Reconstitute the world.
Real change comes from the lives of ordinary people, facing challenges with imagination, determination, and connection to others.
The world we inhabit is far from perfect, but think back five hundred years to slavery, the rate of child mortality, the ways women, minorities, and poor people were treated - and so on. Society has improved since then and I think that is due to ordinary people making their own lives better. Multiply each of those tiny changes by a billion.
So that’s how I write; Slices Of Life contains stories about regular people dealing with adversity with creativity and skill. Enough with superheroes, superstars, and supernatural characters!
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning