What to Write

As a novice writer, an author told me “to write what you know.” Because I’m an organizer, I compiled a list of stuff I knew. Every morning for the next week, I read through the topics in my search for inspiration, but not one lit my passion or sent me running to the computer with an urge to let my fingers dance across the keyboard as I composed the next great American novel.Ottilia Scherschel

The idea of writing gnawed at me. I woke a few mornings later with a sore jaw. My desire had given me TMJ. Some of you may know that’s the fancy name for what happens when you grind your teeth in your sleep. Great! Becoming a writer could involve buying some expensive mouth guard before I’d even produced a single story. I quickly came to the conclusion it would be less stressful and a lot cheaper to write about what I wanted to know, about those things that lived in my imagination.

Since I was raised on mystery and adventure stories, my fantasies ran to action a la 007 and Indy. Neither of them was about to show up on my doorstep and invite me to tag along, so I decided to write about the kinds of things they did. Haven’t you dreamed about riding across China on a motorcycle or solving a mysterious disappearance? I have and made those dreams come true in my first manuscript.

Everywhere I look nowadays I see a what–an idea for a story. I like to research and dig up unusual tidbits to include in my work. I enjoy creating characters and their worlds. But the real fun starts when the characters and their worlds collide. I guarantee when I put a guy and gal on the page together sparks will fly, and there will be love. After all, what would an adventure be without romance?


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