Write What You Know (and you know far more than you think)
Thanks Angela for hosting a leg of the blog tour for DIES IRAE. Today I want to talk about writing. In particularly about the old adage, “write what you know.”
People often ask me how I came up with the storyline behind DIES IRAE and the entire series. The answer lies in the adage, write what you know. Okay, true, I’ve never been an angel (that I know of!), I’ve never lived in ancient Greece, and I’ve certainly never faced off with some pretty bad-ass demons. I researched those things, not drawing from personal experience at all. So how can I say I write what I know?
The answer is simple, the emotional content is part of our common human experience. No, I’ve never felt that type of terror my characters feel at certain points in the story, nothing close. But I really don’t have to. I merely need to tap into something we all share—our collective human experience. The collective unconscious.
Carl Jung defines the collective unconscious as a transcendental record of humanity, consisting of “mythological motifs or primordial images” that every human can tap into. It is the basis of mythology and enables us to explore the inner workings of our psyche.
Haven’t you ever read something and felt like the author was speaking directly to YOU, even though the story itself was nothing like your life. That author reached you on an unconscious level, tapping into the emotions and parts of being we all share. The collective unconscious.
I think that when we’re crafting a story, when we’re true to our characters and simply pulling the story that already exists on the page, we are tapping into the greatest of gifts—our collective experience. We are truly writing what we know.
Are you writing what you know?
THAT is the million dollar question. Thanks so much for sharing with us today. Big Hugs your way and much success with this series. Speaking for myself, you all already know I loved this novella.
About Christine Fonseca
School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.
Short Blurb for DIES IRAE
Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. But when he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth as teenagers, following the rules is more difficult than they expected.
Being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia.
Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces, and fighting against his rising emotional, Mikayel must now decide how many rules he is willing to break to save his friends, a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.
“Dies Irae is the perfect introduction to Christine Fonseca’s Requiem series. The beauty of the words will tempt you, the tragedy of the story will break you, and the love, woven throughout like music through the trees, will haunt you for days afterward. Dies Irae promises a tale unlike any you’ve read before.”
~Ali Cross, Author of BECOME
Soon to come from Compass Press-
As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.
Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.
So...getting back to that question. Are you writing what you know?