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So… Legion M’s past few weeks have been wonderful and exciting, and well… busy! We opened COLOSSAL and organized meetups all over the country and put together SWAG bags and signed posters and, and… and!
And… one thing I did NOT do was keep my promise to write this blog weekly. Every time I thought, “I should really take some time to write that blog,” ten other things popped up that had to be done “right now.”
For those of you waiting for my weekly writing advice, I’m sorry it’s been a few weeks! MEA CULPA!
With my head hung low in shame, I will now try to impart on you what I myself am practicing today…
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.
Sometimes I struggle to find a fresh, original story without ever realizing I might be living one.
Take, for example, a conversation I had with Legion M investor Audrey at our San Diego meetup yesterday (hope you don’t mind being my example today, Audrey).
Audrey coaches rowing at the oldest women’s rowing club in the world (125 years and counting). How the club started and what it’s become over the last century and a quarter is a fascinating story of struggle, women’s rights and women in sports. There’s potentially a fascinating story there.
When Audrey told me she wanted to exercise her writing muscle, we talked about what she was interested in (genre), what great movies have been made recently (HIDDEN FIGURES was mentioned) and how to find things to write about. The more she told me about her personal story, the more I realized she doesn’t have to look too far to find something she can really sink her teeth into.
Allison Schroeder, the screenwriter of HIDDEN FIGURES who was nominated for an Oscar this year, grew up near Cape Canaveral where she interned at NASA as a teenager (see this LA Times article for more on her incredible background). It wasn’t until she wrote what she knew that she found a high level of success as a writer.
If you want to write, but aren’t sure where to start, writing what you know can be the launchpad for success.
Think about what you’ve experienced in your life and how you might apply that to a fresh and “unique to you” story:
· Use the people you’ve met as the basis for character and dialogue.
· Bring the feelings you’ve experienced and how they’ve developed over time into the story to create emotion and character arcs.
· Look for ideas around you to help shape your idea.
· No idea what to write? Research things that really, truly interest you and find the kernel of story that will become your launchpad in that research.
Writing what you know will help your writing become more authentic.
Take the week to think about what you know. Tell me if you find your launchpad! Good luck!
p.s. I wrote this blog entry practicing the "write what you know" technique. It was really helpful!
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