“Write what you know.” As a writer, I have heard that countless times.
I think it’s total crap. I write what I know, yes, but there are whole swathes of science and literature and medicine and human psychology that I do not know. My job is to learn it.
I tend to immerse myself in my characters and their stories. When I am writing YA, I dig deep into that (cringe-worthy) box in my memory vault marked “high school: proceed with caution.” I join everything I know with everything I can learn about whatever drives my protagonist.
It works for me. I read YA while I’m writing YA. This week, oddly, I also am reading Dave Cullen’s Columbine. Now, that is something I do not know.
And it’s not research.
I had been reading it from a parent’s perspective, though I was nearing the end of college when it happened. Somehow, reading this heartbreaking chronicle has ripped my chest wide open. I am feeling deeply for the students.
In an awkward way, I feel more in touch with high school unease and angst than I have for years. I wouldn’t call it serendipity, but what an unlikely coincidence.
I blog rarely, because I'm writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: