I have been busy working on several blog posts, but they are for later this summer. Meanwhile, I found myself less than excited by any of my other topic ideas, so I drifted over to a blog filled with a wealth of advice and inspiration, “Writing On The Wall” (you can find it in my blogroll). Out of all the tags, I chose a section called, “Getting Ideas.” http://writingonthewallblog.blogspot.com/search/label/getting%20ideas
Most of the posts were by a contributor named Annette Lyon, who shares a number strategies for jump-starting the creative process in fiction, as well as some interesting facts, like Orson Scott Card’s moment of inspiration for Ender’s Game, and this great quote from Tom Clancy: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
I especially liked Ms. Lyon’s account of wrestling with the infamous cliche that she heard from a college creative writing teacher – the famously stupid advice to “Write what you know.” I suspect that most fantasy authors have never believing that nugget. Write what you can imagine is more accurate for writers and poets from Homer to H.G. Wells, to J.K. Rowling, but Lyon’s misguided professor actually forced his students to compile a list of 100 things they knew, and were thus qualified to write about.
Lyon, who had wanted to be an author since the second-grade, was initially paralyzed by the realization that she didn’t know anything on her list well enough to write about it. Fortunately for her and for us, she round-filed the list as soon as she could and rephrased the motto as, Write what you are willing to learn about.
Any writer who has ever researched anything will agree with her, and reading her post, I realized that learning new things is one of my greatest pleasures in blogging. And speaking of learning, check out “Writing on the Wall.” Scroll through the tags and you’re bound to learn something new and find this sort of inspiration.
Love the Clancy quote! Thanks for this post. I wasn’t aware of the blog and will spend some time looking around.
Yes, that is a memorable quote. There is site I look at that is worth a mention in it’s own post, which I will probably put up next.