Engineering Worlds | Teen Ink

Engineering Worlds

April 23, 2022
By mossywall GOLD, Newton, Massachusetts
mossywall GOLD, Newton, Massachusetts
12 articles 11 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You can make anything by writing." C.S. Lewis

I write fiction because I like to engineer worlds. I like choosing names and designing personalities. I like making landscapes and painting castles. I like creating rivers and imagining mountains. Most of all, I like to fit it all together - to create a collage where each piece fits just right; where the grass turns silver under a looming moon and a cobalt river flows into a turquoise sea.

Of course, sometimes it doesn’t fit just right. Sometimes my worlds are rough and cobbled together with clumsy words and indiscernible metaphors. My characters, confusing and contradicting, bewildered and lost. Those times, I can spend hours glaring at a page and wondering why it feels so wrong. Why sometimes words flow from my fingers like ink, and other times they stick like gum to my lips. When I think about this, I find myself forgetting that I like fiction so much - and wondering why I even write when it’s so difficult.

I criticize my descriptions. I struggle to find words that don’t repeat themselves. (Why did I say the moon weeps moonlight? It’s too repetitive…but the moon weeps light sounds wrong, too. How can I make it better? I can’t think of another word. Why can’t I think of another word?) I try to draw my story on longer, unsatisfied with the ending. I argue with my past self, and find myself detesting the characters I sketched with hunger and forgetting as their essences. I try to improve it, and dig myself deeper into irritation as I do.

But then I see dialogue between Death and Ambition and descriptions of berries and shadows. I see eyes; both green and gray, and cats who remind mourning characters of their past, and I start to remember why I write. I find an ending I can believe in, and muse on memory. I realize that I don’t write fiction because it’s easy - I write it because it’s hard. Because it makes me think and imagine. I enjoy the challenge, and I enjoy the end result.

I enjoy writing, in all its black and gold glory. I enjoy fiction, in all its disbelievable entirety.

The author's comments:

I love to write, but fiction is harder for me to write than poetry, and I often get frustrated with it. This is about how difficult and also satisfying it is to write.

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