What do you want to write? A romance, a thriller, a day-in-the-life? Will your protagonist be an overweight, middle-aged woman who works at a hospice house but just wants to be a dancer? A bodybuilder who wishes he didn’t choke his girlfriend with his bicep every time he puts his arm around her shoulders?

Photo copyrighted by James Darell, taken from http://www.visualphotos.com

Plot and character details are necessary to know, but I feel that there are a couple other things that you should know first:

  1. Why do you want to write this story? Which story has caught hold of your heart, swallowed it into a Venus flytrap, and won’t let it go? Does it hold special significance for you? If the story doesn’t hold a place in your heart, it will be difficult for the reader to hold it in theirs. Normally people write because they have a story to tell, a lesson to teach, a word to say. What burns within you to be spoken?
  2. What are your motivations? If you’re writing for the sole purpose of becoming published/famous/rich, you might want to rethink this whole author thing. I’m not saying that you can’t dream for those things when you write; they just shouldn’t be the basis for your writing. Write because you love it! Putting a story into written words is a beautiful experience, and if you care more for the ends than the means, chances are you won’t enjoy the ride or get the results you’re looking for.
  3. Do you know your story? We’re always told to write what we know. Sometimes that means from research, but I also know that stories turn out better when writing from personal experience, or from emotions that could be applied to a similar situation. Don’t try to write about being a surfer if you’ve lived inKansas your entire life and never visited the beach.  

I write because I love it. I write because I want to share it. I write because I want my readers to see what I see, hear what I hear.

Why do you write what you write?