Star Wars isn’t the only major fandom that decided to release a set of films for the second generation. J. K. Rowling has published several Hogwarts textbooks for the entertainment of muggles (Fantastic Beasts, Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Quidditch Through the Ages). She also wrote a script for yet another magical Harry Potter world movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Looks like there’s a certain tag going around the blogosphere again. Just in the last week, two people tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Award: Luke Hartman and Vivian Parkin Derosa, two awesome writing bloggers who I recommed you follow. At least check out their blogs (names have the links). Since they tagged me for the same thing, I’m deciding to do something a bit different this time and take the questions I like the most combined in one post.
As for tag rules, I think everyone knows about those by now. Sound good? Let’s get started.
My question picks from Vivian:
1) What are some of your favorite blogs? Oh, goody! Check these out:
- Hannah Heath. This is my #1 favorite blog because Hannah is a great friend of mine, so yes, there is some favoritism going on there. But putting that aside, she has an awesome sense of humor, lots of nerd references, interesting perspectives, and lots, LOTS of good writing tips. Still not persuaded? You need to get your eyes checked.
- Constant Collectible is my go-to site for all the geek news, particularly about movies, TV shows, and comics. I also contribute with my posts on film scores once in a while.
- You Write Fiction. The very name of this blog should be enough to get you clicking that link. Nate Philbrick, the writer behind the blog, does a lot of writing related posts, most of them fabulously sarcastic. His fantasy novel Where the Woods Grow Wild will be released on December 10 and is now available for pre-order, so go check that good stuff out.
- To the Barricade! is one of my favorites also. Aimee Meester has a lot of beautiful posts on hope, motivation, and finding joy in crazy, stressful lives, not to mention lots of posts on writing, bullet journaling, and NaNoWriMo. This blog has got it all.
- Paper Fury. The girl behind this blog is hilarious with a big personality and sense of humor. She even claims to eat whole books for breakfast. Do I believe her? Well she completed NaNoWriMo in ONLY THREE days, so maybe I do. If you want some good book reviews, writing tips, and just a good laugh, her blog is the right one for you. (Check out her bookstagram too.)
- Pretty much all the obviously wonderful writing blogs, most likely including yours. Don’t think I follow your blog yet? Please comment below with the link. I love finding new blogs worth reading.
2) What’s your favorite genre to read? Fantasy and science fiction hands down. I also enjoy historical fiction.
3) When did you start blogging? A year and a half ago, June 2015 to be exact. It’s been a fun journey and not as stressful or time consuming as I was afraid it would be.
Now for some select questions Luke tagged me to answer.
1) What type of computer do you use for blogging? Whichever one is open to use. I enjoy using our gaming Asus PC because it’s fast (and no, I’ve never played games on it. I use it because I’ve never had a speedier internet). I also use it for writing, school, and anything else that needs a screen and a keyboard.
2) What was the last album you listened to straight through? Celtic Fair by Maggie Sansone. Not only is it peaceful, soothing music, it’s very mysterious and mystical. Great fantasy writing soundtrack.
3) What is the awesomest-looking book you own and why? Song of the Sending by Corinne O’Flynn. I really am not a fan of the book at all, from characters to story quality, to plot, to writing style. But the cover! Oh, the cover …
4) Name your three biggest fandoms. Easy peasy. Star Wars comes first, closely followed by Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings (those two are always fighting for second place and I just can’t decide).
5) Favorite childhood movie? Pooh’s Grand Adventure. I still love it.
6) Name three books that everyone on Earth should read. Man, you’re killing me. ONLY three? Okay. Besides the Bible (that’s kind of obvious):
- Skies of Dripping Gold. I kind of forgot the author’s name because I’m too lazy to look it up, but it’s a wonderful short story and it’s 99 cents on Amazon for a digital copy. READ IT. The author is an amazing person and her stories are just … well, I simply don’t have the words (sorry for forgetting her name).
- Harry Potter series. So many people already love these books, but there are, sadly some people who constantly demonize them because of the content including magic, sorcery, and dark arts. But that’s only because they’ve never tried reading these beautiful, beautiful books themselves; it’s about love and friendship overcoming the darkness.
- Les Miserables. It’s a long, depressing story, but it is gorgeous. I could write a whole post on how wonderful Les Mis is and I still wouldn’t be able to cover all the points. The real point is, it’s worth the long read. The characters, the story, the message, and plot twists … I don’t know. It’s one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read and it will always remain one of the highest on my list.
Welp, that’s it. That was easy and fun. It’s perfect to be tagged during a week when life is so busy you just can’t come up with anything. Answering fun, easy questions is always a nice change once in a while. And I know you all love it too, so … I’m tagging these people with these questions:
When did you start blogging?
Name three books that everyone on Earth should read.
Favorite pop music artist and film score composer.
Name your three biggest fandoms.
What is your favorite musical?
Spiderman or Ant-man? Yes, the new Marvel ones.
What time of day do you write the most?
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or apple cider?
A tagline for the first story you’ve ever written.
If your book was going to be made into a movie, is there an actor/actress you’d choose to play your main character?
Rey or Princess Leia? Why?
You! Go ahead and write up the tag too! Everyone is welcome.
And that’s it. Hope you enjoy. Feel free to click around on the blog and subscribe if you like what you see! Till next Tuesday then.
I’m sure a lot of you have heard the quote “Write what you know.” I believe Mark Twain originally said it.
Well, I hate to go against a well known saying by a prestigious author, but I don’t think it’s a quote writers should live by, even though I believe it does make sense to some extent.
Well, I just wrote this whole blog post explaining why, so keep your hair on.
Let’s start with taking Twain’s little piece of advice seriously … and literally. Let’s say you, as a writer, decided to follow the tip, and started writing only what you knew. You came up with a pretty good story. Fantastic. Job well done. This means that this story is completely and wholly yours, it originated from your own thoughts and knowledge about the world. No one else influenced you besides what your mind already stored up. Great.
But this also means you didn’t do any research. You didn’t explore. You didn’t ask for help. And You most likely didn’t write a fantasy or science fiction novel.
Because writing a fantasy or science fiction novel or any kind of speculative fiction is basically writing what you don’t know. Writing in this genre means doing lots of research. It means using inspiration that you look for and find in books, movies, music, the news, other people, etc. You’re reading articles on diseases, basic econimcs, spaceship terminology and weapon diagrams. You’re writing about things that could never happen in real life like space, time travel, wizards, magic, whatever you usually find in a fantasy or sci-fi novel, and all of this goes completely against what you knew before. You’re learning things about reality as you incorporate them into your novel, but you’re also making up stuff. You’re delving into the world of the unknown to create different worlds, different creatures, different types of magic and powers. Did you know any of this? No. You’re writing what you don’t know. And it’s fun.
So, am I telling you to write speculative fiction? After all, the title of the post says “Don’t write what you know.”
Well, that isn’t the point. No matter what genre you’re working on, there’s plenty of room to write things you don’t know. And you could have a lot of fun with that, even writing realistic stories about real-ife people in the mundane world we live in. You’re going to have to do some research to add to your knowledge, but you’re also going to explore. You’re going to be writing about people you don’t know, things you didn’t know, you’ll be writing a whole story you didn’t know beforehand, even.
The point is to explore. Write outside the box. Try new things. Come up with your own ideas that no one has ever come up with and don’t be afraid to. If you’re used to doing it the other way, try writing a bunch of nonsense. Things that you wouldn’t believe could actually happen, and you’ll be writing things you never knew about. If you’ve never written that way, I suggest you try it. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll even discover things about real life along the way. Dig in. Write what you don’t know, and you won’t want to go back.(Guaranteed.)
Mark Twain wrote outside the box. He explored. He wrote books about traveling back into time: Heck, he wrote about a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court! So in the end, write what you know. But you’re also going to have to explore the unknown. Dive in. Just don’t keep your sanity in check because us writers. We just don’t do sane.
How do you write? Do you know everything you write? Or do you write of things you’ve never known about and take the time to explore while doing it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, even if you’re not a writer, and all your agreements or disagreements. In the meantime, thanks for reading. I owe you a spot of tea.
My NaNoWriMo story (which is going unexpectedly well, thanks for asking) is about a writer who ditches a novel he has been working on for several years. His characters approach him in reality with the purpose of encouraging to finish his novel in order to complete their story. Because without their story, the characters, who apparently really do exist, will be forgotten and eventually die.
In my novel, the universe simply can’t handle souls with no story. Thank goodness we have one.
November is a crazy month for writers not just because of midterms, Thanksgiving, and other seasonal preparations, but also because of writing. Do I care to elaborate?