Write What You Read

  • Post category:Writing

I’ve never been a fan of ‘write what you know’ because I have never, ever written what I know.

My stories have always had unicorns and dragons and talking cats and werewolves– and I’ve been writing what I don’t know for a very long time. Heck, if Black Beauty-esque horse stories count as fantasy (and I suppose they do), I’ve been writing it for forever.

The reason I’ve been writing fantasy is that I’ve been reading fantasy.

Of Acorns and Oaks

I have a photo, somewhere, of a very small me (9ish?) with a copy of The White Dragon in hand. I remember that the book didn’t make a lot of sense at the time and that I wanted MOAR DRAGONS. (And lo, there was fan fiction.)

I consumed books in mass quantities when I was young and wrote almost as fast. Scattered between my house and my mom’s is a giant pile of stories written from roughly second grade on. Everything from the harrowing story of a family trapped in their house during a snow storm (they go to the store and buy a shovel) to a separate story for every single horse in my imaginary stables.

I wrote what I wanted to read and read what I wanted to write—a lovely symbiosis that faded as I got older. Time waits for no book and ‘being a grownup’ gives you one heck of a tunnel vision sometimes. Sigh.

So it faded… but never died out.

Gathering the Legos

The one thing that kept me going through the Camp NaNoWriMo July 2011 session was that I was writing a story that I wanted to read. It was the ‘but why’ that drove the plot forward for most of the month, unlike past attempts that stumbled over ‘and now what’ roadblocks.

If I can find another idea that’s just as interesting hopefully I can recreate the magic. What I read is what I write, so it’s time to turn a critical eye on my books and television shows and try to find out what they have in common…

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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