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.