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  • Amy Shannon

Write what you know (and then write what you don't)

If you're trying to figure out if you are a writer, think about

this. You either are. If you have that desire to write down your words, share your thoughts, your stories, your characters, your life experiences then you are a writer. Anyone who gives you advice about writing will tell you to "write what you know" and that is all well and good for the beginning writer. You write what you know, what you have experienced, and what is right there in you to write. Write in the genre that is most comfortable, and there can be a mix of genres. I mix up mine, give crime and suspenseful dramas a little flair with a sub plot of romance.

Write until you have to stop, and what I mean by that is that you will know when you need to stop and take a break. Once you are comfortable with yourself and your writing, then you need to step up your writing. I write until I have to stop and think, and when I have to seriously think about what comes next, I stop. I don't consciously think when I write, I just write. And when I write, I'm not looking for things to be grammatically correct, I just write (I do have to make sure my spelling is right, but that's me). Editing comes later, much later. When the writing project is finished, well the first draft is done. Even when the second and third drafts are finished, then I edit.

Write where you feel comfortable, whether it's at your desk, in the forest, sitting on a beach, or in your yard pool side (this is wherever gives you inspiration). Write however you feel comfortable. Is it writing in a notebook in long hand? typing on a laptop, computer, or tablet? Whatever it is, do it. I do both. I always carry a notebook with me. I even stop driving just to jot down a few notes I've thought of. Sometimes I use my "google assistant" as I'm driving to jot down some notes on my phone.

Everyone has his or her own writing style, and it works for that person, but then, you need to challenge yourself.

  • Write in a different genre. (I created two pen names for other genres because they were so different from my normal writing. One is erotica (and sex does sell, and it sells better when you have a plot, and it's not just word porn) and the other is erotic thrillers written through the eyes of demented serial killers. (death sells, too. The more morbid the better).

  • Write about a topic or topics that interest you but you don't know anything about. (Do the research, make sure your work is credible, even in fiction, readers will know if it's credible or could be credible).

  • Add information that you've learned into your stories. (I love history and many of my characters share in my love for history.)

  • Take the time for inspiration. (Go someplace that can give you inspiration, take a walk around your town, linger through an old cemetery, drive down a road you've never been before, sit in your yard, or even stare out your window from different perspectives)

Then, just write. Don't try to make it perfect, but do what works for you. Some authors use outlines or character profiles, I don't use either. I write ideas in a notebook and maybe someday I will use them. Sometimes a title comes to me first. I always title my story first.

For more tips and ideas, keep reading my posts. Subscribe so you won't a miss a post or idea.

I am an author, reviewer, poet and blogger. Writing is my passion, it's part of who I am.


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