I thought I would do a few posts about writing tips that have helped me.
This week I want to focus on: Writing What You Know
What does this mean to you? For me, not much. I'm not sure whether that reflects on how much I know, so I'll deny it either way. At first, I thought it meant what I do every day. As a stay-at-home mom... does that mean I have to write about kids or laundry?
No, it doesn't.
Okay, so what else do I know? Besides the intimate workings of Jack Bauer's life or the plot of every episode of Friends? (I tried writing about these things, it's not allowed... my lawyer is still trying to get me out of that mess. :P )
Write What You Know means two things. First, it means write what is familiar and comfortable to you as a writer. Write what you enjoy reading. As a person that never really grew up--I knew YA was the place for me. Other women love romance, I avoid it at all costs (Still, it is an insidious thing, before I knew it there was a kissing scene in my book... ewww).
The point is, write where you are comfortable and know your audience. Write the book you want to read.
The second meaning of Write What You Know is: Know What You Write. Research is a writer's best friend... (besides Microsoft Word, right Shanti?) If you don't know something that you want to write, learn it. If you want to write about something that doesn't exist, create it. (Not literally, the fire department frowns upon the creation of miniature civilizations in your basement. Don't ask how I know. I mean, you might get away with it if those civilizations aren't based on a volatile gas--butane, methane, acetylene for starters could be considered bad choices... The fire department has a lot of rules, let's just leave it at that.)
The point is, know your world--inside and out. Follow these tips, it will make your life as a writer significantly easier and you'll save a lot of expenses in lawyer fees and damages.