It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
JULY QUESTION: What would make you quit writing?
MY ANSWER: I would quit writing only if my health prevented me. Otherwise, never. Publishing is another matter. Strangely, it has nothing to do with my health or my writing.
As my answer to this month’s question is extremely short, I want to introduce another topic. You all know the sage advice many a writing guru give you: WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. I disagree with it. I’m a speculative fiction writer. I write about magic and spaceships and telepathic squirrels. I don’t know any of it; it’s all imaginary. I make up the details as I go along.
The above adage might be true for contemporary fiction, or for someone writing about the field they specialize in, e.g. a historian writing historical fiction. Or a New Yorker writing a story set in their city. A sideline to this principle would be an in-depth research many historical writers undergo before they set their fiction in a specific place or time. For other genres, like speculative fiction, I’d go with a different maxim: WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO EXPLORE.
When I wanted to explore the world of shapeshifters, I wrote a fantasy story Tail to Treasure about a shapeshifter monkey. It was published in Bloodbond magazine in 2016.
When I wanted to explore the singing crystals, I wrote a science fiction story about them, or rather about a woman who could hear them sing. Here it is – my novella Crystal Song on wattpad. What about you? Do you write what you know or what you wish to discover? Or a variation of both? Tell me in the comments.