September 13, 2012

Write What You Know

By Bruce Wayne Sullivan

The concern often arises among writers as to how others can hear their voice with so many in the arena? It is like having 500 people on the tennis court swinging at the same ball. You are bound to get bruised while taking your swing.

One of the keys, in my estimation, is to write only on the subject that you are intimately acquainted with and finding your voice that resonates with the hearers/readers. In short, write about what you know or have experienced. It takes a life time to write a book. Stay away from topics that are unfamiliar to you or outside your field of experience.

Another way to set you apart is to use metaphors, hyperbole or simile. Don't tell; use a descriptive narrative when you can. This will help your reader actually see, feel and hear what you are trying to convey in the story. 

Here is an excerpt from my memoir, Up from the Ruins to illustrate:  "Pearl was just another dream that rode in on the crest of a wave that soon broke on the shoreline and returned out to the sea. My nomadic life seemed to have no end and no beginning." This sentence makes the reader feel something the same way a "hook" in a song gets the person's attention. Writing is a lot of hard work, so practice, practice and practice!

 Bruce Wayne Sullivan is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He completed his undergraduate work at two private schools in Mississippi. His concentration was in history and social science. He attended the University of Memphis in 1993 and earned his Master's degree. Now a licensed counselor, Sullivan credits bartending for preparing him for counseling. Sullivan is also an accomplished musician. Bruce is the author of Up From the Ruins: Based On a True Story, Refections from the Other Side, Vodka Tonics for the Soul

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