Inspire Me Watson! Write what you feel.

I saw a quote online last week that’s really stuck with me.

Writers don’t write from experience, though many are resistant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
American activist, writer, educator and commentator, Nikki Giovanni

I’ve been thinking a lot about that. If we all only wrote what we know, there’d be a bazillion incredibly boring autobiographies on the market, and very little else. Writing what you know is only going to get you so far. But how is it possible to write about something you DON’T know? Easy. The situations and experiences we write about might be fantastical, but human emotions and reactions are pretty much universal. We all understand joy, anger, betrayal, love, loss, longing, fear, and a thousand other feelings. The trick is writing characters and situations with that understanding in mind.

Let me explain. No, it’s too much. Let me sum up. Most people are familiar with the works of Stephen King. I’m reasonably certain that he has no first-hand experience as a pyrokinetic teenaged girl, a rabid dog, a psychotic murdering clown, or a head-injury-induced psychic. Even still, he writes all of these characters with such care that we can see them as actual, three-dimensional people rather than as faceless paper dolls. It’s not scientifically assessed and meticulously assembled facts about the characters or situations that draw us in to their worlds, but the fact that, despite strange powers or otherwise unbelievable plots, we respond to the humanity of their situations.

So that’s what I took from this quote. If you can build your stories around the sorts of things we can all identify with as human beings, readers will be drawn to even the most inhuman of characters. And as a dragon, that makes me happy.

 

Displaying dragon sig wb 4.gif

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: