Write what you know. I’ve talked about that concept before, how I really think part of creating a story that we love writing (and others hopefully love reading) is stretching ourselves beyond what we know. Still, all of us have histories and worlds that we’ve lived in that could, possibly, add a layer of something extra to a WIP, whether that’s one we’re working on now or one we haven’t even got the idea for yet. The thing is, we never know what that is until and if we need it.
I thought it’d be a fun Friday Five to share pieces of my past that might, in some happy time, be the thing that adds that layer–the detail that flows into a setting, adds a quirk to a character, twists a plot, or amps up some dialogue.
And then I want to hear from you. 🙂
1. I know what happens when you step on a bathroom scale holding a dog that tops out just under 100 pounds. Awake. And moving. And I know just how big the window of time is before you either drop the dog or, with the dog still in your arms, go over backward in a big, big thud. (Luckily, I also know what it feels like to hold a newborn, and I mean newborn, puppy in your hands and rub its belly to get it circulating and wriggling and happening.)
2. I know what an avocado looks like when a possum has been at it. Think vampire.
3. I know what it feels like to drive through Hollywood on your way to the graveyard shift you’re working, and realize the thin girl walking along the sidewalk is not on her way home from ballet class. At 11:30 at night. In a not-so-great neighborhood. Gut punch.
4. I know what it feels like to get way too much sand and salt water in your face, bodysurfing in Mexico. And then be stung by a jellyfish. In the elbow. The one you might, you know, just possibly want to bend, sometime before the end of the day.
5. I know that peacocks, perched on a fence in the rain, are no more attractive or appealing than a bunch of turkeys in the same position. And that you have to be just as careful where you put your feet, when you walk near them.
There. How about you? Don’t take the easy route. Push yourself to think of things that you can actually imagine in a book or an article, that little tidbit that only you know. Or at least that not everybody on the planet knows. Go ahead–I want to see what you come up with!