Wednesday, July 17, 2013

07/17/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well this week. I am not nearly as angry as I was yesterday, at least right now, though I am pretty tired. Lots of fun lightning storms last night, so I don't exactly regret being tired. If you are one of the lucky ones heading to San Diego Comic-Con this week I have something very important to tell you; jealousy fills my veins and please buy me stuff, and also if I give you a list of names can you go say hello to famous people for me? I always wish I could go, but passes selling out in an hour and a half and how much I'd have to spend to go down there always stop me.

For now let's get to the real reason why you're here. I read a couple articles on Cracked recently and it got me thinking about the different things people write about. I constantly hear the saying 'write what you know' and I do that very much, but I also realized how important it is to write about stuff you don't know 100% about too. The reason why this is important is because of the fact that writing is a constantly evolving and growing art; I guarantee that you don't write the same way you did when you were ten. You learn new stuff and incorporate that into your work, which is awesome, but if you only write about what you know there are going to be certain aspects that fall flat.

Let's say you decided that you were going to study a subject and learn everything you could possible shove into your brain about it. You know everything now, right? Awesome, let's put that into a book. Not a non-fiction one, I mean one with dialogue, characters, plot, and all that good stuff. Oh, so you feel you are somewhat socially inept and are worried the character interactions are going to seem uncomfortable and awkward because that's how you feel about them each and every day? Well see what happens and then we can revisit that once it's done. Now in this situation if you went to write your book and it was full of awesome suspense, drama, and delightful plot twists however anything that happens between two people just feels wrong, and you went to publish it anyway (and it works) then congratulations you've made M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (or the Happening, or Signs, or Devil, or everything that wasn't the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable), and if that's what you were going for, then great. My point is that he makes movies about what he knows, and doesn't seem to want to work on things he doesn't. (I'm trying to say M. Night Shyamalan doesn't know how people communicate and or interact normally.)

You don't need to fall into the same trap as him though. If you write about what you don't know if gives you the chance to grow and learn about it. If you want to write a book about horse racing, but don't know what happens besides they run around the track and always look really happy to be running in the mud, that means you get to experience horse racing first hand. I'm not saying become a jockey, but just go to a horse race. Visit a stable and see how the horses are cared for, maybe take riding lessons, and obsess over the Triple Crown (on the off chance you may not know, it's the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes for American Horse racing) like people do during the summer.

I used horse racing as my early morning example, but this can be applied to pretty much everything you want to write about but don't feel very confident in. No matter what you are writing about, it's impossible to know everything about anything that's going into your book, mostly because it's literally impossible to know everything. That's why writing is so awesome; you can do research and apply it and also make improvements over time as a testament to your own experiences. So as much fun and easier that writing what you know is, take that extra time to write about what you don't, because it will help you in the long run and you also might find something interesting in the meantime.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. As a reminder, 'The Light Rises' is available until the end of the month for absolutely free. Please tell people about it and/or pick up a copy for yourself. I would really appreciate it, and it always makes me happy to see an e-mail saying someone's picked up a copy. For now though, I will be off and I hope everyone has a great rest of the week. If there are suggestions, questions, comments or what have you feel free to post them below or contact me. I always like hearing from people. Thanks again and see you Friday!

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