Saturday, July 16, 2011

If You Cannot get rid of the Family Skeleton, you may as well make it Dance

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance ~ George Bernhard Shaw

If you ask most successful writers how they began or where to begin, they will tell you, write what you know. Sheila Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, and Kerry Riechs all write stories set in places near where they live or where they have visited. Marie Bostwick writes about quilting, which is a hobby of hers. I have thoroughly enjoyed all these author's works.

Especially if you are a beginning author, writing what you already know about will, help advance your plot, develop your characters, and create a story others will want to read. A Place to Call Their Own was inspired by a visit to the Pea Ridge National Military Park in 2008. After visiting the park and learning about this crucial battle, my ideas for the novel came together and I started writing. Again, I was living in the area at the time and I have an extreme interest in local history and the settlement of the West after the Civil War.

I'm spending the weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. You can bet at some point in my writing career, at least one of my novels will be set in this beautiful, Victorian resort town.

Use what you already know to have the courage to step out of your box and go after your dreams.  For me that's writing a novel, what about you?

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I have always heard this about writing what you know. When I first began writing my crossover horror/Christian novel, I began setting it in a tiny town which mirrored my own. Ultimately, I felt I was spending so much time trying to lay the boundaries, etc. of the town that it was slowing me down. Eventually, I gave up and simply put the book in my hometown of Kingsburg, California. I didn't realize it at the time, but it gave me a built-in audience, too.

    Thanks for the post, L. Dean.