Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tess's take on "write what you know"

I procrastinated. I had a few ideas for writing tip 2, but nothing concrete. So I decided to look around and see what others were posting. I checked out Tess Gerritsen’s blog.

You can find it here.

And what did I read? In her post titled But I don’t know anything interesting she touches on “write what you know” and had this to say:

“Are you … forced to write about what you know? Absolutely not …you should write about what you want to know.”

That’s why I love her blog. Head on over there and read the entire post. Heck, read the entire blog. She has some very interesting things to say.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Writing tip #1: Write what you know.

Sensible advice. Controversial advice. I’ve heard it pronounced worst writing advice ever, but I disagree. Notice it doesn’t say “write what you have first-hand experience with.”

I’m all for first-hand experience, which is why I am dying to take a gun safety glass and shoot a few rounds. Until I have the opportunity to do that, though, I’m just going to spend more time at the library, reading up on handguns, thumbing through magazines for police officers or other security personnel. I photocopy articles and ads. I jot down website addresses and read those “it happened to me last week” anecdotes (almost as good as interviewing someone).

“Write what you know” doesn’t mean I have to own an M9 and shoot it regularly; it means “do your research until you know the subject you are writing about.”

While some writers might think so, “write what you know” does not limit you to write about characters with professions you’ve worked in, living in cities you’ve seen, doing things you’ve done.

The truth is, I rarely write about stuff I “know.” But I make damn sure I know what I write about.

Monday, January 01, 2007

new this year: 50 writing tips and tidbits

2006 was a good year for the whole family: the husband won a Federal Supervisor/Manager of the Year Award in April; the daughter started first grade in July, I signed my first book deal in August, the little guy began preschool in September, and the cat has survived her 13th birthday. Even most of our fish are still with us. A good year all around.

Time to look ahead.

One of my resolutions: to post to this blog more regularly. To this end, I’ve decided to come up with 50 writing tips and tidbits.

I won’t pretend to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, no worries. I won’t tell you how to get published and/or noticed by an agent/publisher, because I’m not an agent, editor or publisher. I wouldn’t know what goes on in their heads, and I won’t presume to speak for them. I might mention how best to present yourself and your writing, but I think you know that doesn’t guarantee anything.

If you’d like to know what makes agents, editors and publishers tick, what they look for or don’t want to see cross their desks (very important piece of information!), check out their blogs. There are plenty of them. This is not one of them.

This is the blog of a writer knee-deep in revisions, on the verge of seeing her first book in print, struggling to meet the daily needs of her family, her burgeoning writing career, and her body for sleep and food (and exercise).

What are your writing resolutions for 2007?