Friday, April 13, 2012

Write What You Have Never Known

Write what you know, learn what you don't know. Or, write what you have never known. In other words, write whatever you want. The easiest way to describe an action, emotion, feeling, personality, or place is to experience it for yourself. If one character brushes their teeth, go brush your own teeth. Describe putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush, what they are thinking about as they are brushing their teeth. Writing about a character who hates the world is easier when you remember a time when you wished everyone annoying would drop dead. Think about how you felt, acted, reacted, your thoughts and feelings. Or, if you are writing about New York, New York, take a week vacation there. Meet the people, see the city, let the setting create the mood. You can learn about New York from any source, but nothing will help you imagine the place better then actually going. What if the characters and settings are made up? Then find a place somewhere close to that place. If your fantasy is set in a dense forest on another planet, make plans to spend an afternoon in the forest. Think about what your characters would do in a situation as you go though out the day. Put yourself in their shoes and walk around for a bit.

I write basically everything from mysteries to fantasy to romance to poems about socks. No, I have never been in a mystery, murder, or investigation, but the lack of experience will not stop me from writing about it. A big part of rewriting is research, surprisingly. One goal for most writers is to make the readers believe that, yes, this story is true and everything in it is possible. To do that, at least some aspects have to be realistic. No, a regular man cannot jump from building to building and shoot webs from his wrists. But, if you have him be bitten by a spider and given superpowers, then anything is possible and believable. Fiction is about writing the unordinary and extraordinary and making it seem like it could happen to anyone. It is about letting readers, for just a moment, feel like anything is possible. Words can leave us tangled in magic and hoping for something better. They can break us down and make us question the big questions. And when words come together to from sentences and sentences form paragraphs, paragraphs form chapters, and chapters form a story, then anything is possible. The reader's mind is yours to take away and meddle with until they read the last word. As a writer, you have the power to implant new ideas, make people really question right and wrong and how society works. A few words can change a nation. Such as "I have a dream..." "Four-score and seven years ago..." or "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley ,of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." even "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind".

Words have power. Choose them wisely. 

Don't be afraid to write what you will never know. 


1 comment:

  1. It is stupid that school laptops block Figment...