Monday, March 15, 2010

Write What You Know

I've heard that said by so many people. Write what you know. What does that mean?

As a new writer, I had no idea what to do with that phrase. What did I know? Should I write about knitting, crocheting, ceramics, crafting? Or should I write about raising kids, or working too many hours? How could these things be intriguing to anyone else?

I wrote. I became published. I still wondered about those words.

One day not long ago, I began to understand what those words mean. I've been through a lot in my life. A lot good...a lot bad. I've been hurt and I've hurt others. I've been terrified and I've been happy. I've lost loved ones and seen babies born. I've told lies and reaped the consequences.

Those are things I know. So when my characters get into situations that I've faced at one time in my life, I can close my eyes and remember back to the time it happened to me. I need to pull out the details of that particular situation. It requires meditation and going back into time, experiencing the hurt or the happiness all over again. Where was I when it happened? What was I wearing? What about the other person, if there was someone else there at the time. Once I've captured this, then I can write what my character is experiencing...using what I know.

Use what you know, and write from the heart. Your characters will come to life on the page through your own experiences. It doesn't have to be exact. You just have to know what emotion your character is experiencing and tap back into your memory for a similar emotion you felt.

Good luck! Thanks for stopping by.

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