If you follow write what you know literally, you are going to severely limit yourself as a writer.
Now, of course, removing a transmission is a wildly complicated and difficult process, a little like saying Step One: Animate the monster or Step One: Walk on the moon. In my family, the term has become synonymous with comically difficult tasks– such as writing a book.
But it is also important to find a healthy, sustainable balance between the business and creative sides of your work, or you can find yourself wasting a lot of precious time on to do items with low ROI.
So where do you begin?
Though it has its many positives, there are certain pitfalls any writer can run into when writing a series. Taking these precautionary steps in advance will help you to minimize the challenges down the line and, hopefully, to produce better books.
Still, as someone who obsessively plans, outlines, plots and interviews, one of my most beloved tools of writing has stuck by me time and again. It’s not uncommon or revolutionary, not now, but it’s gotten me out of more sticky plot issues and setting questions than I care to admit. Behold the power of the storyboard.
Plotters plot and pansters fly by the seat of their pants. I have done both in many genres of writing, including both fiction and nonfiction, and let me tell you–I will never be a pantser.
I used to think I could research my books as I went. I used to delve into plot and character development and setting and think ‘I’ll get to that later’. I used to believe that research was secondary to the fundamentals of writing a story.
I used to be very, very wrong.
The constructive critique is a vital tool and not just for the reasons you think. While there is much to be gained from new sets of eyes reading and analyzing your work, the value of a critique, whether in a classroom, writing group or on a peer-to-peer basis, is undeniable.
Every writer has their own style and approach to a story. Some research first, others outline and plan, and some dive right in with nothing more than a name and a vague idea for where their novel might end up. As you can probably guess, I’m not one of those people.
While there are a great many similarities between the tips for fiction and nonfiction writers block, I would say there are a great many differences too. Writing fiction employs a variety of skills that don’t necessarily overlap with those utilized for journalism or nonfiction. That does not mean it is easier or harder, simply different.