A Little Advice
It’s my belief that a writers job, is to evoke an emotional response within the reader. The advice given to me was, write what you know. I didn’t know what I knew, meaning, I thought I knew stuff, but as it turned out, I didn’t. In fact, the more I wrote, the more I realised the less I knew about myself. After all, isn’t that what we do? We explore different parts of our personality by projecting them into a character.
A bit of eastern philosophy here, what exists within the world, exists within ourselves. Everyone is capable of murder given the right circumstances. Everyone has had a “poor me” moment, tears of joy, tears of sadness, excitement, lust, love, pain etc.
So, my first bit of advice is to write what you know. Know yourself, your emotions. Know your characters and their deepest darkest secrets.
What motivates them to do what they do? Use your senses. What do they sound, look, smell, feel or taste like? What’s your first impression? When writing about a time in history, or a fantasy land, ask the same questions, what does it look, sound, feel, smell, and taste like? Research, research, research.
The second bit of advice, is to know where you’re going. I do a mission statement for each book. I like to have an outline of what my message is that I want to get across. You may also know this as a theme. I find that if I have a clear outline of the book I’m writing, it keeps me on track.
Finally, the last bit of advice is to keep it simple. There’s no need to describe every lump and bump on a tree or what a mountain looks like in too much detail. Readers are getting more and more fickle. They have their own imagination, and your job is to take them on their own journey with you. If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on the story then don’t put it in.
So in conclusion, know your characters, your emotions, the era in which you’re writing, know your topic inside out and the places. Research, research, research and don’t over describe things unless they have a purpose to the storyline. May your writing experience fill you with elated exhilaration as you embark on your own adventure story.