It angers me when I read that writers should stick to what they know. Why the heck do I even bother inventing worlds and creating characters for then? This ‘what’ that I know feels a tad claustrophobic, so I say nay! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve traveled and met people, but I’ve never been a part of the New American Order (the zealous army in Rebel, my dystopian young adult thriller) and I hope to never meet a living and breathing Gargoyle (yes, my WiP series, Wanderlust, scares the shit out of me).
And mostly, what I think I should get from this erroneous quote is this: Don’t write what you know, because your stories will become boring, but write WHO you know. And who better to base your newly created characters on than yourself – or who you think you are? It can be anything, from a nasty habit of biting your nails to something you like to eat, which reminds me…
I went shopping with my sister at an Asian food store and as soon as we got there, I went straight to the candy aisle and looked for the treat that’s been my favorite ever since I can remember: Chinese HAW FLAKES. I don’t know if it’s the packaging (you’ve got to work for them suckers) or the bitter-tangy-sweet thin disks of exotic goodness, but once I’ve opened one, I can go through many disks in an hour or two, depending on whether I’ve had a good lunch or not.
So as I watch my provision of haw flakes slowly diminishing by the second, I get this flash: What if my character Quim from Land in Abyss has this kinda cute and peculiar thing for haw flakes? What if he can’t get enough and needs them like cigarettes? Oh, I can definitely understand THAT habit.
Happy writing, everyone 🙂