Monday, October 25, 2010

How do you decide what to write?

I've heard "write what you know" many times. But what do I really know about Vampires and Demons? About Time Travelers? Honestly, I only know what I've read from other authors.

Let's take Vampires. I am a total fangirl of them and will read almost every book, see every movie and give every TV series a try. I got the idea to write one but really needed to make mine unique. So I took my favorite Vampire books (Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, Kerrilyn Sparks Love at Stake series, Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark, Lynsay Sands Argenaux series, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Chelesa Quinn Yarbro's St. Germain series) and made a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each. I looked through that list and decided what made sense to me. Then jumbled them all up, put my own twist on them and wrote The Envoy (Available now from Lyrical Press).

Ghost? Well there's more freedom there because there are so many types of Ghost. I watched Ghost Hunters one day they had a marathon. This lovely paranormal researcher and a sexy ghost started taking shape in my head. From that came Ghostly Passions (releasing June 1, 2011 from MuseitHot Publishinhg)

And then I took on Death. While most books whoever is Death is male. But one author, W. Somerset Maugham, wrote a short story "Appointmentin Samarra" in which Death was a beautiful woman. It stuck with me. So I start thinking after rereading Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. Oh I didn't want to try to touch that one but the idea of the different incarnations having a physical presence? Oh yeah, I liked that idea. Which led to my current WIP! I'm still not sure of the title but the two in the running are My Lady Death and Death and the Detective. In which I also mix in my love of Romantic Suspense novels. I just need to finish it.

So if you want to write - then write. The ideas are all around let your brain mix the ideas around and you'll be surprised what comes.


  1. Oh wow! I've not been a fan of vamps, w-wolves, or any of the other paranormal vestiges. But ghosts, now there is something I can get my teeth into. Reading what you said has me salivting. Now if I only had my next MS done, I could try my hand at a cool ghost story. Thanks for stirring up the dust of my imaginaaion again, Delilah.
    Pat Dale

  2. I find myself doing Witches of one sort or another more than any other single topic. The rules of Witchcraft are not always consistent from one story to the next, but hey, I'm making it up as I go along.

    I have some vampires, and again the rules vary. In one, the vamp can stand sunlight as long as she drinks a little of her lover's blood. In another, I expanded to idea of vamps not reflecting in a mirror to vamps not showing in a photograph. It's amazing how much fun it is doing this stuff.

    And then there's my SF stories ... very heavy on time travel, and on multiple universes/timelines.

    No, I really don't have a lot of trouble deciding what to write!

  3. Great post. I completely agree. Writing what you know, sometimes takes the form of studying other books you enjoy and then crafting your own with a clever twist to make your work unique. Both of my middle grade novels are ghost stories. My fantasy worlds always have some form of magic. Isn't this why we write? To have fun...

  4. I think for me, it's a matter of 'write what I love.' Once I hear the story and it starts to take off, that's when I do the research for it.

    I wrote a ghost romance though the ghost is trying to fix up her sister with an awesome hero and to keep said sister's stalker from making her a ghost too! What did I know about ghosts? Only what I'd read or heard in the past. So it became uniquely mine.

    And that's as it should be.

    Whether you 'know' or not, if it's uniquely yours and the story is wonderful, you have a winner.

  5. I tend to write whatever the Muse demands. Mostly that is fantasy, though there are odd moments when I switch genres.

    Death is a 'presence' in my books and she's pretty nearly always 'she'.

    Great post. Love the way you came to your story for The Envoy.