Monday, December 22, 2008

Write what you know ???????????

Boy I remember hearing that many times when I was just starting out with vague ambitions of maybe someday being published. It was something I was never good at because the sentence sounds so damn literal. I rejected it flat out and after many failed attempts at the great Canadian novel I have finally figured out what it means.

I have two work in progress now and writing them feels like 'coming home' yes I am still struggling with trying to avoid adverb abuse, and where to split chapters and what is needed info and what is useless background information but that is on the technical side. On the creative side where stories are born things are just flowing ...... maybe too well.

I have found this is especially true in my second project as I started to write the opening scene. I have been grappling with it for a few weeks never sure how much detail to put it, how vague to be, and worrying it would traumatize someone. Problem is the book opens with date rape and I had it butchered trying not to be to graphic until I realized that date rape (well all rape for that matter) IS graphic and horrendous and if it makes people uncomfortable to read about it then that is a good thing because it also gives victims a voice.

So as I started to write it I realized there is value to writing what you know and that writing what you know does not mean you have to be autobiographical it just means putting your own voice, experience, and emotions into your characters.

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