Darn Tweets have been monopolizing my blog space. Sorry I haven’t been making any actual posts in a while.
Editing is going well. I’m up to Ch. 10 right now. Man, it feels weird going over stuff that I’ve gone over so many times, except that I am finally connecting everything coherently, so that is huge.
I have also been gathering more writing ideas for future books in this series. I love life: it provides such rich opportunities for self expression and research.
I wrote a blog last month entitled Life Experience, which talks more in depth about my love for research and experiences.
Someone posed a point to me recently in reference to my last blog, it made me wonder if I’d made the wrong point about life experiences.
As a younger person, my life is less than half over, so I love reaching out and learning all I can. Plus, I love learning: it’s the way I am. Though, sometimes it’s impossible, difficult, or even undesirable to have certain experiences (like being in a war, having a mental breakdown or a substance overdose).
And yet some authors who haven’t experienced anything they write about can go into such detail with such feeling that their readers dissolve into tears. Especially in the case of sci-fi and fantasy writers, where they are inventing whole new worlds that no one has ever seen, how can you experience something that no one on earth has done before?
If people are able to pull that sort of thing out of their heads without any help from research, then I clap them on the back and gawk in amazement. I have lucked out with this as well, but I believe every writer is stronger if they do research. That is my humble opinion, and I’ve written and read enough to know that this is the case for many authors.
To clarity: experience helps, but authors should never feel boxed in by only being able to write “what they know.” They should write about what they please. That is half the fun. But that is another blog all together.
I leave you with this thought:
Writing teachers invariably tell students, Write about what you know. That’s, of course, what you have to do, but on the other hand, how do you know what you know until you’ve written it? Writing is knowing. What did Kafka know? The insurance business? So that kind of advice is foolish, because it presumes that you have to go out to a war to be able to do war. Well, some do and some don’t. I’ve had very little experience in my life…
~ E.L. DOCTOROW