Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Use Hobbies and Interests As A Basis To Your Novels

Authors are frequently told to write what they know. And yet, all too often, writers shy away from that knowledge when writing their novels. I have suggested to a writer friend of mine, who loves writing romance, AND who happens to be in the medical profession, to consider writing for the Harlequin Medical line, or even anything where the setting is in the medical field. Despite the fact that this person is a walking font of information for this style of writing, she avoids the idea.

In reality, if you have a background in a particular area, you are a fool for not tapping into that work. Authors with a background in history should really consider writing historicals. Those with unique hobbies can find ways to work that into their stories.

Now, does this work all of the time? Probably not. I don't know how many stories I have seen coming across my desk of "struggling romance authors finding their own romance." Not exactly a big seller. I would also say that a story where the hero is an accountant might not be the sexiest of all stories. Still, the authors can tap into that knowledge to craft other character. Consider that accountant. The odds are this author could probably create a pretty kickin' story around investigating a money laundering scam.

I remember Jo Beverly once explaining why she stuck with the same time period in history. The answer was pretty simple. She knew the time so why would she want to go out and spend the time trying to fully immerse herself in another time period. Seemed pretty obvious to me.

One of my authors writes romantic suspense. She puts her characters in some pretty remote sections of the world. As we were drafting a new series for her, we were looking for some new areas. I tossed out one location and her comment was, "Shoot, I haven't traveled there yet. Might have to shy away from that area for now until I can convince the family to let me travel there." Good thinking!

The point of this is simple. If you have some knowledge in a field, use it. Why go out and research something new when the tools are right there for you.

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