Thursday, February 7, 2013

Write What You Know

You've heard the saying, "Write what you know." I know I have. But what if you don't know anything? Now you're thinking, "Well that's impossible! Everyone knows something!" I thought so too until I tried to write what I knew. I don't know computers so scratch technology off my list. I don't know plants or cars or cooking either, so scratch, scratch, scratch. So what do I know that I can put in my books that will ring true? What do I know?

Don't let this question plague you when  you start to feel down about your writing. Often times, and sadly, more times than not, you won't feel confident about your writing. As sad as it is, I know I've never tried harder or dedicated  more time to my writing and I couldn't feel less confident. But I do feel passionate, and that is enough for now.

Do you know love? Do you know fear? Do you know disappointment? You're nodding your head right now because you know all of that. But do you know friendships? Do you know commitment? Do you know how it feels to lose someone? What about passion or success? What about failure? Yes! You know all of these things, or at least 90% of them. So write about them! Remember the time you lost someone dear or the time someone told you they loved you or when you were the most scared you'd ever been? Now take those emotions and that passion and use it to make your characters come to life. Make your scenery that much scarier or more depressing. Use your emotions if you don't know anything else. You might find it's more powerful and your readers can relate to it more than the other stuff.

This is what I'm working on now. Making my characters' emotions feel real and justified. Your challenge is to do the same. Fuel your novel with raw emotion. Nothing else will bring your readers closer to you and your characters than an emotion they understand.

Till next time!

From one writer--


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