Student Stories 1: Why I Write What I Write


Recently, we asked Takoda Poindexter what genre he liked to write, and why. It’s an interesting question for authors, because the reasons are as varied as the authors themselves. Sure, everyone has a story to tell, but we wanted to know why. Takoda shared his reasons. What are yours?

There isn’t just one favorite genre I love to write. There are many that define who I am, and each is as complex as my personality. My favorite genres to write are adventure and horror.

As a child, I’ve always enjoyed venturing in the forest or creating a place in my mind to go instead of facing reality. It helped me think, and the worries faded. When I write an adventure story, I create an abstract universe the characters go into. They always have an issue at hand and escape it at a pivotal, and usually the lowest, point in their lives. This universe gives them hope in a hopeless world. By the end of the adventure, they usually go through a metamorphosis from weakness to strength, and I usually add a cliffhanger for more events and problems for the characters to go through. This gives me the opportunity to create a series with characters I know well. You can go anywhere in your mind on any adventure you choose. I love to write in this genre not only because I can escape, but when I felt alone it was a way to vent what I was feeling. I was always alone when I was a child, so in order to have the feeling of fullness and belonging, I’d make a place of my own to escape to.  Bridge to Terabithia influenced me to write about anything I could imagine. By choosing to write adventure stories, you are not limited to what you can write.

Horror, my other favorite genre to write, allows one to venture into the dark recesses of their psychological point of view. Stephen King has influenced me to express every aspect of myself in a story. In horror, you have to pay attention to every detail in order to find out who is the murderer, what is the supernatural, and what is defiling the innocent? This genre also delights in leading the readers to a false conclusion. It gives them the illusion of an ending, then in the last chapter can turn a full 180 degrees. A callous scene is waiting around every corner for the characters, and there is no guarantee they will survive until the end. What I love the most about Stephen King is the element of surprise in all of his novels. You never know what will happen. When I write horror, I love to make the scenes simultaneously grotesque and deadly. Just like adventure, most of the characters start off weak and scared, but as they progress through the story and struggle through their hardships, they strengthen and show bravery. Also, there is always one character who believes the only way to save everyone is to sacrifice themselves, because when faced with such dangers they are immune to physical pain. I got into writing horror because I felt weak myself. I used to be petrified of the dark, the unknown. When I write in this genre I feel as though I can survive anything.

Both of these genres give me hope, and it’s a hope I want to share. I want people to know that they are not alone, that other people have had similar experiences. As long as I impact one person’s life with my writing, then I know that I have made a difference; I know that I have created hope.

T. Poindexter – Virginia Western Community College, Nov.12 2016


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