Subverting Expectations

This is just a rambling post, because reasons.

One of my favorite things, in fiction, is the unexpected. I think it stems from my voracious consumption of books, television, and movies over the decades. I started reading young, and I started at the deep end of creative works – science fiction, fantasy and horror. As a result, I often feel like I’ve seen and heard it all. And do you know what? Unfortunately, I really can’t stand to see the same recipe playing out over and over. Mixing metaphors, I can do, so try to stay with me. Recurring plots and themes are just so exhausting. Now, I know they say “there’s nothing new under the sun”, but I really think we can do better than 400 uninspired ham sandwiches in a row.

The downside of having consumed so many stories, other than being tired of rehashing, is that I can’t bring myself to rehash anything. New ideas come and go daily for me, most of them discarded because I’m convinced that it’s been done before. They weren’t bad ideas, just not unique enough for my taste. I put a lot of value on originality, and when I encounter something that’s genuinely new, it’s like Christmas. Even if the execution or delivery is mediocre, I walk away thinking “at least it was original and creative”.

If I look back at my fiction, poems, world-building and characters – they all share that same characteristic; they are different, often very different from the usual cookie cutter content. Sometimes I even look back at my work from long ago and think “Err, I don’t know where that come from – it’s kinda out there. Alrighty then.”

I have several decades to go before I hang up my writing shoes (whatever that means) and I suspect it is going to get stranger and stranger. Buckle up, future self, and don’t forget your hazmat suit.