Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the Zone

I am writing about what I know – mostly.  I combined ideas I’ve had with moments I lived, blurred them a bit and augmented them with subject research.  Yes, my story is roughly rooted upon my experiences; however, I am not writing a biography - she (my main character) is not me.  Not even remotely.  She is a figment of my imagination but was born of my memories.  Maybe it was easier starting with what I know.  Maybe not.  Right now, one would say I am writing in my comfort zone.   It’s anything but, though.  It has caused me to dig up some old bones – none of which actually made it to the page.
Writing about what one knows is like riding a bike with training wheels or splashing around in the shallow end of the pool.  Is it safe?  Definitely.  Is it a cop-out?  Maybe. 
I have to respect anyone that can create a full story based on pure fiction.  It has to be much harder to start from scratch.  Stephen King admits he had a difficult time writing Carrie because he knew nothing of the subject matter – teenage girls.  But, I have to say, it is one of his best.  It might even be my favorite. 

Good stuff, huh?  So, what makes for the better story?  Writing about the familiar or jumping off the high dive into the deep end where one must flail about until they can learn to swim.
I really don’t know.  But, I’m going to finish my work in progress and maybe in the next story, I will be ready to take the plunge into the unknown.        


  1. What makes a better story?

    I think it's writing about what you're passionate about,what you love, AND even what you want to know.Sometimes the best story comes from authors writing about what they know. But if that were always the case, we wouldn't have science fiction, would we?

    How many horror writers actually experienced all that slashing? Most just reached into their soul and conjured something that had excited their imagination.

    Nothing is a "cop-out" if your story is good. Whether we intend to or not, we all write things taken from our own experiences...we just fictionalize them. Fiction writers lie for a living. That's the fun part.

    So I say, it doesn't matter if your swim in the shallow end with water-wings on or take a leap from the high-dive into the deep when you can't swim. If you write a good story, that's all that matters.

    Chuck Barrett

  2. Wow. Thank you for the fabuously well-put and thoughtful comment. I completely agree with your reasoning. I do have passion for my content and am excited to see how things go with the end product...hopefully that will be "good" enough. Thanks again!