The other day I was preparing a blog for a guest appearance spot over at Nine Naughty Novelists. I was writing about adding real life to your stories. It got me thinking of the old adage, write what you know.I’ll admit I’ve written many stories based off of things I know.
Body Shots has a hero who is a singer. Music is my first love. Back in high school thru my early twenties I dated musicians. I know more about drums than I possibly need to. I’ve spent summer nights just attending concerts. When I was growing up in Upstate New York, every teen spent the summer at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This was where all the good concerts took place. In 2003 when I was sowing my royal oats (I was celebrating my freedom from my ex), my best friend and I traveled all over to see concerts. In fact once at 5pm on a Saturday night we drove from Albany NY to the Comcast Center in MA (it was the Tweeter Center back then) to see Disturbed and Korn. A three hour drive one way AND we drove back home after the concert. Okay, so we were a little crazy what can I say.
Splashing Good Time the hero owns his own pool company. I’ve been in the business in the past and again in my present, someone close to me owns a few pool stores.
Gettin’ Lucky my heroine owns her own grocery store. My ex-husband and I owned a corner grocery store for almost ten years. And like Marcy, my heroine, the store was in a poor section of town.
Another story that will be published under my real name is about a woman’s journey to motherhood. She’s not taking the conventional way. After finding herself single, because her ex-fiancé doesn’t want children, Hailey decides to take out an ad for a sperm donor.
Granted I’ve never taken out an ad, but I’ve journeyed through the fertility process – more times than I’d like to admit. So I can add those little details to my story that make it that much more believable. Obviously my heroine will get a HEA, but the bottom line is I KNOW fertility.
But should we always write what we know? I say NO. Eventually you’ll come to a point where you want to diversify and move in a new direction. To do this you’ll have to learn something new and experiment. That’s what I plan to do.
I’m embarking on a new chapter or journey in my writing career. I’m taking on a subject and genre that is relatively foreign to me. But guess what? I’m excited about it. I may stumble along the way and I may suck at it, but I won’t know unless I try.
I’ll be honest – I’m scared witless. But that’s the thrill. That’s how I know it’s the right time to do it.
I’ve become too comfortable in my writing. I haven’t challenged myself in a very long time. A friend has thrown down the gauntlet and I’ve accepted the challenge!
Do you only write what you know? If not, how do you step out of your comfort zone?
PS...If you get a chance please stop by Nine Naughty Novelists. I could use some support! Thanks.