On writing what you know
Every writer thinks about producing a book about craft. Two years ago, my friend Michelle Spring pulled me into one, and I will be eternally grateful. The pairing was unexpectedly effective, since we have such different methods, and the format of this book also brings in a number of superb guest essays. Take a look at the book, here.
I’m going to be posting some snippets over the coming weeks–particularly for those who are currently neck-deep in NaNoWriMo.
In none of [my] stories are the details heavily autobiographical. Rather, the adventures and experiences of the characters are infused with my own understanding and experiences. It is less a case of writing what I know than writing who I am…
… imagination is of far greater importance in a novel than experiences. Instead of writing what you already know, write what you want to know. Often a writer who comes new to a place or a situation sees it with inspired eyes, and can bring to bear a fresh and fascinated viewpoint. The goal here is making those descriptions, whether they are of a Boston neighbourhood, a beat cop’s day or standing before a jury, feel fascinating for the reader, yet everyday for the characters.