That ubiquitous “they” tells us that writers tend to write what they know. To a certain extent, I agree–and of course, there’s also the flip side of that coin. Writing forces a creator to dip deeply into pools of imagination–I mean, think of the authors who’ve penned tales of losing children, of crime, of war. While I have no statistics and can’t prove a damned thing, I am sure there are authors out there who do, in some instances, write from personal experience. But for the majority of us, that’s just not possible. Hence that touch (sometimes small, sometimes gargantuan) of pure fiction.
But surely romance writers write what they know…don’t they?
When I’m in cynical mode, I have to wonder what the percentages are–how many of those authors write reflections of their lives–happy, fulfilled, romantic relationships–and how many are writers escaping their circumstances–writing about a dream, about a better life. About something they just haven’t been able to grasp.
And for those who write to escape, how do we measure their success? Because while that “they” gang spouts off on knowledge is power, the same group also warns us to beware not writing with our whole hearts, because The Reader will sense this somehow halfhearted effort.
But is that true? Is it possible for a jaded, cynical author to write believably about something that she may no longer even believe exists? Is it the power of the craft itself, the talent of the wordsmith to make you believe, dammit, in that Happily-Ever-After so many yearn for, yet which seems so elusive to capture?
Does it boil down to the question–are authors simply just good liars, then? An author can make you believe whatever he or she wants you to believe, simply by saying it in a certain way?
And really, the bottom line is–does it even matter, as long as she’s written a good story?
Frankly, I don’t know. Haven’t got Clue One on this, gang. We’re all spinners of yarns, in varying degrees–every single one of us. I guess the biggest trick is whether the author can convince herself of the story she’s telling–because that’s where it all begins, real world be damned.
This is what I get for watching stupid-ass, brain-melting RomCom fluff movies late at night. I should have learned my lesson a million years ago.
ps. We’re all mending here (curse you, influenza!). Watch for more blithering drivel appearing in this spot soon. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.