Writing Craft

Write What You Know

I’ve been reading through the comments from last week’s post. What great story ideas!  Thanks to those of you who shared with all of us. It’s interesting to read about the different ideas out there! For those of you who weren’t quite ready to post a comment, no worries. There will be plenty of chances for you to do so! 

While we’re on the topic of story ideas, I wanted to write about what you can do when you have trouble thinking of a good idea…because we all know that sometimes amazing ideas just aren’t (gasp!) swirling in our heads! So what can we do about that problem?

Write what you know. That’s right. If you have a great character you want to write about, like a space girl from the year 3000, or a spy from a parallel universe, but you don’t know what situation to put  them in or problem to give them, think about things that are familiar to you. For example, if you play softball, maybe the space girl from the future could be in a hitting slump. All ball players get in slumps once in a while. Since you play softball, you would know what that feels like and how to describe it.  If you like to ride horses, then maybe the spy from the parallel universe could be hiding out at a nearby stable. Since you’ve spent time with horses, you would have an advantage describing them and their surroundings.

See what I mean? If you’re stuck for ideas, all you have to do is think about what you know.  That doesn’t mean to write your story exactly about how your softball practice is run each time. Use your imagination. Think what if?  What if I wrote about a cool character that played softball in the future? How would softball be different? How would the ball field be different? Writing what you know is one way to get those ideas swirling in your head-right where they should be!

Does that mean you should only write what you know? Of course not! It does mean that you should always try new things…because while you’re out there learning to jet ski or volunteering in a soup kitchen for the first time, you may just feel that spark. You know the one I mean. The one that comes when an amazing idea for a story pops into your head!

So, go on…write about the lady bugs that invaded your picnic this summer or the mermaid you met at the beach. I’m off to do the same. 🙂


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