There’s a saying we writers hear constantly.
Write what you know.
I go by a different creed. One that can loosely be translated into write what you know.
Write what you love.
When there’s a subject we’re passionate about, we tend to know more about it, yes?
For instance, I’m crazy about cultures. DOTT has references to Minoan culture, Greek mythologies and theosophical ideas on spiritualism. I find a lot of inspiration searching through old world ideas and obscure, religious text. I like trying to understand the wheres and whys of belief and how it comes into play.
I’m especially fond of the Norse. I probably should have been an anthropologist–that dreamy side of mine might have fit. Some. I can immerse myself in reading about Northmen and lose serious time.
I’m fascinated by their way of life and how their explorers scattered out into the world. I get a little annoyed when I still hear about Columbus discovering America when in truth, we know better now. (And it wasn’t only the Northmen who explored here before our curious Italian–there are discoveries that originate from Egypt, Iberia…)
I’m intrigued by the stories written about those who did go out into the world, whether it was to trade or raid–biased stories generally written by the only ones who could write. Monks in the very churches the Northmen raided. So of course they were superstitious stories of godless wild and shapeshifting men.
But I’m especially drawn to the Norse myths and superstitions.
My second manuscript was called Ian’s Curse. Ian lived in Wales and was a descendent of a group of Vikings who had been cursed after they had raided a magical place. Ian’s curse? He shapeshifted into a large black cat.
(Yeah, the irony hasn’t escaped Rachel and I–I wrote about Ian years before we hooked up as critique partners.)
I still love that book. It needs serious work because my heroine… well, she was all wrong for Ian. He deserved better.
I’ve noticed that in a lot of my writing, I use myth without even realizing it and quite often, it comes from this general area of people. Lately, I’ve been thinking about incorporating it even more into my stories. I don’t want to write historical fiction–I’m more interested in bringing old world ideas of magic into today’s world.
I’ve noticed that I look forward to the writing and will literally carve my time for it when it’s about something that fascinates me. I guess I should hope that these twists and turns and fictions that spring from old world beliefs will ensnare my future readers. 🙂
So… what fascinates you?