Just like most people in the USA, I’ve been watching and reading about the horrific Florida night club shooting for the past days. I’ve been seeing all the well-wishes, the support and the raw emotion people totally unrelated to this event are experiencing. I also see the hate. The disgusting, inhuman, ungodly hate. (No concept of any god who thinks murdering people for being themselves should exist.)

While all this goes on and works on my emotions, it also makes me think about my writing. Even though I write fantasy and horror — two really made up genres — I believe that all fiction has its roots in reality. Things have to be real in whatever world you create. They have to resonate with readers, who have their feet firmly planted in this world.

Real world shit affects the way you write things.

Just like people-watching at the mall can help you with dialogue or unique mannerisms, observing how people react to news stories and horrible events can help you as well.  You letting it affect your writing ability in no way detracts from the actual event. In fact, if you can write things well enough to elicit an emotional response, you might just help a person learn empathy.

And the world needs more empathy.

I cry for the people in Florida and their families who now have to suffer the ultimate sorrow because of some villain who couldn’t just let them live their lives. I hope they all find peace somehow and comfort from all those who stand with them all around the country and world.