On Writing

 

Write what you know to be true.

Going further than fact checking, a writer has to be true to the world and characters in the story.

I happen to write paranormal erotic romances with plots revolving around characters who are werewolves, vampires, fairies, ghosts or other types of paranormal folk, yet I am not a werewolf, vampire, fairy or ghost--so far, at least. This seems contrary to that old standby advice, but it's not. All my characters are all still very "human" no matter what other powers they have and, being human, I know about the thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions that humans experience. Therefore, I am writing what I know. Besides, this is fiction and even in nonfiction, writers use their imaginations; if a writer doesn't know something from firsthand experience, he or she draws upon other people's experiences. To "know" something, you can live it or you can learn what it's like to have lived it through interviews, diaries, documentaries and historical facts, which all falls under research.

Going further than fact checking, a writer has to be true to the world and characters in the story. Creating rules for a fantasy world and then breaking them when it's convenient, is just sloppy planning and plotting on the writer's part. Creating a character with distinct habits and traits, then having them act out of character without reason, is just bad writing. In both cases, you'll let down your readers, maybe lose them for good. Stick to what's right for your characters and setting and you'll end up writing the truth even in fiction.

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