There are moments when writers who are just starting out may be intimidated to write about certain subjects. Scratch that, there are moments when writers who have been writing for years may be intimidated to write about certain subject. What are those subjects? It may depend on your own culture, your own beliefs. Religion, sex, and drugs are all easy examples.
In “The Warm Fuzzies,” Chris Adrian writes about both sex and religion. The point of view is third-person omniscient, but for the most part follows the character of Molly, who’s parents “woke up one morning—without having seen a vision or having experienced a dark night of the soul—with a new understanding of their lives’ purpose. They both took up the guitar, never having played before, and started to praise Jesus in song.”
There are six or seven children in the story, all the boys names begin with C, and all the girls names begin with M, it gets a little confusing, but maybe that’s part of the point. Even though the Carter’s have a large family, they also regularly take in foster children. The latest child they take in is Paul Bo – P. Bo – or Peabo as his name is written in the story. Before Peabo arrives, Molly has found herself questioning her family, and her religion. There’s a voice in her head suggesting bad things. After Peabo enters the story, he and Molly develop an interest in each other that remains hidden from the rest of the family.
Adrian writes with humor, and creates a believable world for Molly, and the reader feels compassion for all of the characters, even Matilda. When looking at this story, think of what you could write about that you’ve always been afraid to? What’s a topic that would provoke a fight at a family dinner? Now, go there, write it.
Read the Q&A with Chris Adrian, I love his inspiration for this story.