It’s common advice to writers to “write what you know,” and that’s for a reason. What you know is where you have to start. It’s what you have. It’s a springboard to launch into plot and to make characters’ reactions to plot developments ring true.
It can make writing therapeutic, among other things. But is “write what you know?” the WHOLE story?
I think one great corollary to that, at this point, writer’s proverb, is to “write what you WANT to know.”
What inspires you? What do you want to delve into? What do you get excited to think about researching? What do you want to know more about? WHO do you want to know more about?
I think lots of writers end up writing what they want to know. I did. When I started writing, I wanted to know what would happen to my characters. What would happen in this scenario I envisioned of a sorcerer-duke who killed the royal family and took over?
The novel took me to an ending I had never anticipated ahead of time, for I wrote the first draft as a “pantser” (without an outline). After finishing it, I wrote two more novels about those characters that took place over some 25 years, which may be somewhat unusual for a trilogy.
I wrote it that way for me, because I wanted to know what would happen to the characters: how their lives would develop, how the experiences of their youth would shape them as they faced new challenges and raised families.
As I wait to get my draft back from the editor for re-release, I’m wondering what inspires y’all to write. How have you written what you want to know? What have your story ideas got you researching or reading?