Behind the story: ‘Crash Landing‘.
In this blog series, I write about the stories I have written so far and my personal meaning behind them.
Not everyone likes to know what a writer intended when they read stories. A reader might prefer to focus on their own interpretation and keep the writer’s personal view of the story separate, and that is completely understandable and fair!
But for those who do like a little insight into how I write and why I write what I write, this post might be of interest to you.
To some of you it will come as no surprise after reading ‘Crash Landing‘ that the movie Paul has been one of the inspirations for this story. I have watched that movie countless of times and it has always made me want to write my own version of the ‘humans encountering an alien’ trope. The possibilities it offers are endless!
Yet the specific idea of an alien crashing through someone’s roof actually came from a dialogue prompt I encountered on Instagram. I wrote it down as the absurdity of calling the insurance company in such a situation made me laugh. Not much later I started writing ‘Crash Landing’.
While at first this story was meant as pure entertainment, as I continued writing it I noticed themes started to emerge.
One of those themes is ‘fact versus fiction’ and believing the lie when served as an easy truth.
From all I have written so far and what I am currently writing I have realised that the issue of lies versus truth has a recurring role in my fiction. I had an obvious interest in this subject as a journalist and as it has continued to play such an important part in the world today it is one that remains close to my heart.
So naturally it features heavily in my fiction.
On a more lighthearted note, the idea of an alien going to a sci-fi convention came to me as I was writing.
As someone who’s been to sci-fi and fantasy cons, it was fun to play around with the idea that some of the humans there dressed in amazing cosplay are actually aliens. What better setting to blend into and be your best alien self!
However, what is new for me is setting off writing intending a story to be a comedy. What I definitely discovered during the writing of this is that humour is very hard to gauge as a writer. I have no idea if the reader finds it as entertaining or funny as I do while writing, or whether they find it droll or predictable. That has made it scary for me to publish this story, but at the same time I feel it has been a good learning experience. Not to mention fun!
Another trope I came back to in this story is that of the adult versus the child.
Being a bit of a Peter Pan myself in the sense that I don’t want to grow up and lose my inner child’s sense of wonder and imagination, it seems to subconsciously become a topic I often write about. Here, it is a short exchange between Zeldi and a child, but one that felt very fitting. I couldn’t bear to scrap it, even if it’s a theme I used in my previous story ‘Cressida the Witch’ too.
Though ‘Crash Landing‘ is a very different type of story from ‘Cressida’, there is another theme both stories have in common – and I think it’s safe to say that it’s a common theme in all my stories, past and future.
It is the theme of an ordinary human suddenly finding themselves in a very extra-ordinary fantastical situation. I enjoy exploring all the possibilities that this trope offers. While in ‘Cressida’, a park ranger suddenly finds himself surrounded by magical lights and communicating animals, in ‘A Year of Magic‘ an unsuspecting girl finds out she is a witch and in ‘Crash Landing’ an alien comes to tea – or rather for a midnight snack.
But the invite to tea still stands, so who knows what the future brings!
I can only hope you enjoyed ‘Crash Landing‘ even just a fraction of how much I enjoyed writing it!