The best piece of writing advice I can recall is probably “write what you know.” It sounds simple, and when you first look at yourself, you might think as I did, that there is nothing about yourself that is interesting enough to write about, but these words don’t mean write your day-to-day grind, but rather, bring your life experiences into the text to help ground the characters and make them more identifiable.
One of my first characters was a potter because I’d taken a spinning class and fell in love with the feel of clay under my hands. Another was a bad cook because, well, I frequently burned dinner trying to cook and write at the same time.
The worst piece of writing advice I’ve seen is probably “write what you know,” and yes, I realize I just said it was the best advice, but if all I wrote about was middle-aged people who couldn’t do magic, I’d never sell a book again. Take time out from writing to take a class on something you’ve always wanted to do, go somewhere you’ve never been, research a topic that intrigues you, become something for a summer that you wanted to be as a child. Put yourself in not one pair of shoes, but a store full. Be it, write it, live it.
Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She’s currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles and a Hollows prequel, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home or in the garden.