A very good friend, who also happens to be a member of my family, is in the finishing stages of a book that has taken him five years to write.
Now, that doesn’t sound like any time to a lot of writers, but he’s done this living on the edge. The edge of poverty, the edge of sanity, the edge of grief – almost every edge you can imagine.
His motivation is the message he wants to spread. His muse is God.
It’s a very touchy, personal subject he’s writing about and the audience he’s targeting is narrow: abortion within the 19 – 25 year old age group. To top it off, it’s fiction.
He’ll never make the money he needs from this book if it’s ever published. Every agent and publisher he’s approached has turned him away. His subject material has made him a publishing pariah.
The author is sixty years old and has never had any experience in the subject matter. However, he says he feels led to preach, I mean write, about this hot ball of wax topic.
When he discusses his book with me, I keep my opinions to myself except when I can be constructive about the mechanics of his writing. The content is his own business.
He is a good example of writing outside the box. He is writing about issues he is only familiar with through research; he has no firsthand knowledge in the area.
Of course, how many writers have the very personal knowledge in the area they’re penning? In my case, I’ve never held an AK-47, I’ve never been to Austria, and I’ve never been a man in the military. Yet, my main character has all these attributes and more.
There is often a message, hidden or blatant, in good writing. Without a lesson, the story will leave the reader feeling empty.
What leads you to the topics you read? What leads you to the topics you write? Do you write far from your personal field of experience or do you keep it closer to home?
Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch