Write Here, Write Now: Going Fishing by Lucas Díaz-Medina
In Season 2 of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast, host Erica Wagner interviews winners of the Vocal+ Fiction Awards
Settle into the southern humidity with Lucas Díaz-Medina’s “Going Fishing.” A journey of introspection and self discovery unfolds as two boys mosey down a bayou back road. Family history and mythmaking collide when a passerby gives the boys a lift.
What was the impetus for your winning story? Walk us through your initial act of creation.
This story was inspired by bankside fishing excursions with my father and my younger brother when I was a boy in Louisiana and one day seeing two other young boys fishing on their own off the banks of a bayou where we were all standing. I never saw an adult with them and it made me wonder about fatherless boys and the impact that absent fathers have on boys’ lives. This singular sight of these two boys became the central image of the story and I worked my way around that until I felt I had filled out the contours of that moment to such an extent that when a reader got to it the moment would resonate with all the complexities of life the two boys were dealing with in their own way.
What does it take for a story to grab you? How do you grab your audience?
For me, the focus is always on character development. Has the writer developed a character to such an extent that when you first meet the character they are fully developed and feel as if you were learning about a real person? All of my writing revolves around character development first, and I strive to offer in my stories individuals who feel as if they were whole persons. Nice lines and setting descriptions matter, of course, but none of that is of any interest, in my opinion, if the reader feels as if the writer didn’t much care about the characters. When famous writers of the past recommend that writers should love their characters, I interpret that to mean that as a writer I have to care enough to see my characters fully developed as whole persons with all the flaws and complexities that I may not care about but that are important to that character, nonetheless.
Who are your favorite writers and why? Do you have any favorite Vocal Creators?
Unfortunately, I have not had enough opportunity to read many vocal creators because I have been busy finalizing my dissertation for defense this spring. However, I did manage to read the winner of the Return of the Owl Challenge, EJ Ferguson’s story “Until the Rains Stops.” I loved the way she worked with time and narrator voice in that story to bring together a fully realized character in an incredible situation. Growing up, though, my favorite writers were all science fiction and fantasy writers, Asimov, Tolkien, Hubbard, McCaffery, Attanasio, Heinlein, and Anthony. But when I read Steibeck’s *Of Mice and Men*, I fell in love with writing, and from there on, at the age of 17, I focused on literary fiction, soaking up Faulkner, Gaines, Garcia Marquez, and McCullers, to name some of my early influences.
How has sharing your writing in life and on Vocal affected you as a Creator?
Vocal has been a great space for me to re-ignite my writing. I have let life mostly keep me from writing, and with Vocal I have a place where I can share what I have managed to write over the years while at the same time have a home where I can share new material. I look forward to posting more material, both fiction and non-fiction on vocal in the years to come.
What advice do you have for other Creators?
I don’t know that I have great advice, but the one thing that sticks out to me is to never give up on writing if indeed writing is something that you feel you need to do deep in your bones. I felt I should be a writer the moment I finished Steinbeck’s *Of Mice and Men*, and I have not let go of that feeling ever, even in the many years when I didn’t write a single new creative piece. For me, I had no choice. Even if life felt as if it was conspiring to keep me from ever achieving my vision of becoming a fiction writer, I continued to feel deep inside that writing would always be there and eventually I would get back to it.
Stay tuned for new episodes of Write Here, Write Now Season 2 launching weekly.
About the Creator
Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast
Sex, death, relationships, nature, families... If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Vocal creator’s story each week.
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