Sunday, February 3, 2008

Writing in Hawaii

I was just over at Patricia Wood's blog and it got me thinking. She often mentions about living in Hawaii. I rarely do. In fact, I rarely write about this place. That old adage to "write what you know" seems to suggest I should try writing with Hawaii as a setting for some stories, if it fits, but I almost never do. Actually, I don't think I ever have. I have one drafted novel with a character from Hawaii, but I have yet to finish a story set here.

One might call it ignoring available resources. I've lived on Oahu since I was six (almost 24 now) and know quite a bit of it, despite a horrible sense of direction. But despite today being a generally gray day, raining for most part, and weather the past few weeks being much of the same, or that weird gray and rainy one minute, bright and muggy the next, I feel like every time I start to write about Hawaii, the steroetypical image of the idyllic tropical paradise comes to mind. Bikini-clad skinny chicks on the beach, tourists with cameras and bright sunny days called "perfect." I know that's not the way it is here and yet somehow, I feel like if I don't immediately set up a contrasting image, that's what the reader will see. But I don't like starting stories with a description of setting.

It's just interesting to see one's own prejudices, what one will or won't write about, and to examine why that is.

On another note, I was just about to end this post with an "Anyways..." sentence, and I've noticed I do that a lot. Now I'm horrible with short stories because I can't seem to finish anything in a concise manner, and even after 300 pages, I'm hardpressed to find a neat way to tie up all the threads, but apparently, that fault has bled over into all my other writing as well, specifically blog and journal posts, and emails. On the upside, I am mostly okay with keeping the 'anyway's, 'really's, and 'right then's out of my fiction writing. I'm still a huge fan of 'just,' though. And pretty fond of 'though's, too.

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