Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG January 2017

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his brilliant co-hosts!

Wow! I jumped up and danced around when I heard the anthology news! Many thanks to all the editors and for IWSG for having the contest! I'm honored and thankful.

JANUARY QUESTION: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

Write what you know. 

It's a "rule" that has haunted me as a fantasy and science fiction writer. It's even haunted me in the contemporary and historical short stories I've written since I've written from the perspectives of a victim of human trafficking, a rapist, a serial killer, a child stranded on the Titanic by an abusive parent while the ship is going down, and other viewpoints that are not my own.

I have been told to write my story. That I must write what I know, and have known, in real life.

But, I don't want to for several reasons that could be the subject of a separate post.

I want to write the knowledge that comes from studying characters and people, from asking "what if" questions, and from the passion that I have for those who have been battered by life's storms and who haven't given up. Even stories from the perspectives of abusive, criminally-minded characters are meant to highlight the difference between having hope and having lost it.

I believe that there is one hope beyond all of the brokenness, and that hope can't be extinguished.

That hope is what I know.

That's what I write about.

What's a writing rule you wish you'd never heard? 
"i before e except after c, and in words like weird?"





Also, it's my husband's birthday today! We met the day before he turned 24. He just turned 50. Where did the time go? Here's a bit of a photo montage of him over the years. He's not afraid to wear pink, stick his tongue out, or bike more than 200 miles in a day. And yes, he has dishwater blonde hair and a red beard - it's his Norwegian heritage. He got his height from his Irish-Scottish mom.








Because I'm celebrating, and because my New Year, New Reads promos are still live, check out Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry, or Champion in Flight - both 99 cents until the 15th!


38 comments:

mshatch said...

I agree that write what you know can be bad advice for fantasy/scifi authors. After all, we've never wielded a sword or a wand, never gone through a wormhole, ridden into battle wearing chain mail, or traveled from one planet to another. We can't write what we know, what have to write we imagine. Which to me is the key to writing, having an imagination big enough to encompass all the worlds we create.

Happy birthday to your hubby :)

Karen Walker said...

Congratulations!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday to your husband!
I've never been to space, so write what you know doesn't work for me either. However, I can write about the human condition and that's universal.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Time really does fly, doesn't? Fun pics! Hope you all have a wonderful celebration.

krystal jane said...

Congratulations on the anthology email!! And Happy Milestone Birthday to your husband!

That "rule" annoyed me for a long time. Maybe for similar reasons, because I've always been a paranormal girl. But I guess I do write what I know in a sense. I know I lot about paranormal creatures, and I know a lot about mental anguish. None of my characters are sane. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, it's definitely hard to write what you know with science fiction and fantasy. Part of the fun is creating something totally different.

Enjoy your husband's birthday!

Nicki Elson said...

Happy birthday to him! Your girls are so funny in that aquarium pic.

I love your take on write what you know - the underlying message is what you know. But you're also learning the rest as you write about it, so you're expanding what you know.

Happy 2017!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Marcy - I agree, imagination is the key! And, thanks!

Karen - Thanks!

Alex - yes, the human condition is universal!
And, thanks!

Madeline - Thank you!

Krystal - yes, we can research our knowledge for "other" realms and we can write about the tough parts of the human condition. And, thank you!

Natalie - Thank you!

Nicki - I like that thought about expanding on what we know. :) And, thanks! My kids like taking dramatically funny photos - we were in the Georgia Aquarium with whale sharks swimming overhead.

M.J. Fifield said...

Congrats on the anthology, and happy birthday to your husband. There's much to celebrate in your household today!

And I, too, love your take on 'write what you know.'

Patsy said...

Writing what we know is fne - if that's what we want to write about. Whether it is or not, I don't think we should feel obliged to stick to only those subjects we're already knowledgeable about.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My stories would be so boring if I wrote what I know! It probably goes without saying that I've never been a serial killer, someone's shadow or an elderly man :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

MJ - Yes, there is! Thanks!

Patsy -I like the way you think! :)

Annalisa - I know what you've mean. The irony is when someone reads my work and thinks that I must see myself as the main character because I wrote it - so not the way it works.

Crystal Collier said...

Happy b-day to your hubby!

LOL. That's an answer I've seen a ton today. I think the rule really is "Write what you're willing to know." Meaning, you're willing to put in the research and understand whatever it is.

Mark Noce said...

Love it, I'm the same way. I think the "write what you know" thing is quite limiting. I prefer to write about things I'm in the process of learning about:) It makes it so much more interesting for me and the reader:)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on making the anthology. Loved your story. Your husband looks like a keeper and I picked the same rule as you.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Crystal - thanks! I agree - write what we understand or have discovered. :)

Mark - Good to know!

Susan - Thank you!!!

Liza said...

Congratulations on the anthology! As for writing what you know, I think it means bringing a sort of "life truthfulness" to what we write. Sure, we should research the heck out of what we don't know, but use what we do know to make it real.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thrilled you made the anthology.

Your husband looks like a lot of fun. Happy birthday to him.

Erika said...

What a sweet post about your husband. I bet he feels honored. :) I agree. We can't always write what we know. I don't believe the greatest orators and bards and poets were so successful because of what they knew but because of the way they could listen and create a beautiful translation for the world to hear:)
Beowulf comes to mind just now. Happy New Year Tyrean. And Happy birthday to your partner.

Olga Godim said...

Writing what you know can become tedious after a while. It's a limited resource after all. Write what you are passionate about instead. Write what you want to explore. This way, neither you nor your readers will ever be bored with your writing.
Congrats on making the anthology.

Chemist Ken said...

Congratulations on the anthology. Definitely "show" don't "tell" for me. Not that it's a bad rule, unless you over use it.

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats on making the anthology! I jumped and danced around, too.
I've really never understood the "write what you know" rule. That would be pretty boring.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congrats, Tyrean!!!

Happy Birthday to your husband.

Wishing you all the best in 2017!!!

Lynda R Young said...

The 'What if' is why I write too.
And a big congrats on making it into the anthology. I loved your story.

dolorah said...

Happy New Year Tyrean; and congrats on the anthology acceptance.

Yeah, that "write what you know" rule can seriously limit the imagination if you adhere to it. I do like that you write about Hope.

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats on the anthology win! I can't wait to read your story :-)

Nick Wilford said...

I also wrote about the same rule, but you did it much more succinctly! I like the idea of keeping hope uppermost. That restores the reader's faith in humanity. And hey, as you know that hope is there, you are writing what you know! Happy Birthday to your hubby.

Juneta Key said...

Happy Birthday to your hubby. Enjoyed the pictures.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Fundy Blue said...

Congratulations, Tyrean! How exciting to land a spot in the 2017 anthology! Your hubby looks and sounds like a wonderful companion to fly through twenty-six years with! Congratulations on that accomplishment, and happy birthday to him too! The more I learn about writing, the more I learn that rules were meant to be broken, that you have to write from your heart and soul, and that hope is powerful and eternal. the one thing that keeps us getting up after every time we fall. Srieaks to you! All the best to you in 2017!

Heather R. Holden said...

Many congrats on the anthology, Tyrean! That's beyond awesome news.

And your husband sounds like such a great guy. Hope he had a fantastic birthday!

Julie Flanders said...

Woo-hoo congratulations on the anthology!! How exciting!
I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Congrats on the anthology and happy anniversary!!! That many years together is a huge accomplishment!

Michelle Wallace said...

Happy New Year, Tyrean!
I'm thrilled that your story made it into the anthology! Congratulations!
"Write what you know" is the rule that's keeping me from exploring other genres. I'd probably be useless at writing speculative fiction, anyway...

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations! :) And I agree with you about that rule. Have a great week!

Nicola said...

Congrats, Tyrean!! And a very happy new year to you and your family. Hope it's filled with success, good health and lots of laughter! Great pics - thanks for sharing.

erica and christy said...

Happy belated birthday to your husband (mine was on the 4th!) and congratulations to you!!! I agree about that rule!! If we only write what we know, that doesn't leave much open to write about, very narrow list of options. Christy

Kathy Collier said...

Congrats on your anthology, Tyrean. I agree with you as for writing what we know. I write paranormal. I find that maybe I put some things that I know or are familiar with into a fictional story, but otherwise I want the world open to my imagination. With the internet, the world is at our fingertips at any given moment. So I believe that brings us closer to what we can know.

Books like THE POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS or THE EMOTION THESAURUS by Angela A. Ackerman and Becca Puglisi amongst several other books they've written have been great assets for character personalities.

I love Fantasy. Keep on keeping on. Thanks for your input.
Kathy S. Collier-Mehl

Lexa Cain said...

Congrats on your story making it into the anthology! You picked a great rule NOT to use. We should all write what we don't know. That way you can do research and become inspired with the new things you discover every day. I'm happy that all my books, now and future ones, will be set in places I've never been. So much more exciting! Have a great weekend! :)