“If there’s a book that you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
At one time or another, every writer has been advised to “write what you know.” That’s valid advice- to a degree. Sometimes, it’s possible to know too much about our subject, and our writing becomes imbued with a sense of boredom or didacticism rather than brimming with the excitement of discovery.
I think writing should be a journey for the writer as well as for the reader, and the writer who carefully mines their passions and interests for subject matter will do well to look to those areas that are not only fascinating, but somewhat mysterious.
I often write about family relationships because I’m interested in the dynamics that exist in families, between siblings, parents and children, and across generations. Besides that, I love reading about families and the way they handle the ups and downs in their lives. In both novels I’ve written for NaNoWriMo, I’ve explored different aspects of family relationships and the legacies they leave. During my writing I’ve come to some totally unexpected discoveries about my self and my family, discoveries that have led the story into unplanned directions. The novel I’m thinking about for this year once again pursues this theme, concentrated on the relationship between husband and wife and the way it changes over time.
Write about what you’d like your life to be – have your characters living the dream life you’ve always wanted, and I can almost guarantee these characters will be exciting and real. Write essays about something you’ve always wanted to explore – the Mediterranean, or Asian culture, or gourmet cooking. Delving into your passions on paper will bring them to life in entirely new ways.
How about you? Is there a book you’d love to read that hasn’t been written? What do you love reading about, and how could you write about it? What fascinates you that could become the subject for your next story, essay, poem, or blog post?
Write On Wednesday “Extra Credit” Prompt: Make a list of 10 things you’re interested in learning more about…choose one and write about it in a way that inpsires a reader to want to know more about it as well.
Postscript: A couple of weeks past, we talked about The Power of Place in our writing. Take a look at this video-post from writer Beth Kephart, as she talks about the power of place in her latest young adult novel.