07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Write what you know!"

The first time I heard that quote it was an interview on t.v. with Stephen King and John Grishom. The show was on authors and their process for writing. John Grishom answered a question with "write what you know". Mr. Grishom being a lawyer, writes thrillers from the lawyer perspective, he asked Stephen King how that applies to him. Mr. King said "I keep a jar with a pickled heart on my desk".

After the laughter died down, Stephen King said that he writes about what Scares him.

The bogeyman hiding in the closet for instance. The closet door barely cracked open and two glowing green eyes visible from within the closet.

I would have to say my paranormals are written about what scares me. My imagination sometimes runs a bit rampant, and I have to rein it in. Scaring myself and the reader is the easy part. Figuring out how the Hero/Heroine is getting out of the situation, well, that's the hard part.

Scary things happen to ordinary folks in real life. Unexplained things. The haunted house down the block. The apparition in the garden. Try explaining the squeaky basement stair when no one else is home. The feeling that something is about to happen, and then it does. Do you really want to get to know the new neighbor who only comes out at night, drinks blood from a travel mug and she sleeps in a coffin in her basement?

Playing on the unexplained helps make paranormals seem real in real time.

What are some of the things that scare you the most?


Roseanne Dowell said...

Oh boy, you hit on a topic. My greatest fear is waking up and seeing someone standing over me. Fire is my second greatest fear. I write romance also, sweet, contemporary, mystery and paranormal. I don't think I get into the really scary stuff though. Heck, if I did that, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Great to have you as part of the Muse family.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Diana,
What scares me most is watching the news...most likely because it is Real and not my imagination.
However, I have one of those quirky brains that cannot distinguish between real and fantasy when it comes to movies and books - so, I don't read intense books of any kind nor do I go to many movies. Even if there are redeeming features, it just isn't worth the nightmares for several nights.
Anyone who can write scary stuff and still sleep has my admiration.

Sarah Raplee said...

I laughed out loud at the Stephen King quote!

What scares me? Having a ghost follow me home from ghosthunting (it happens!), people who believe they are REALLY vampires - and act the part, people who somehow con me into going against my intuition and common sense (stalker, anyone?)

Wonderful post!

Paty Jager said...

LOL- Judith and I must be twins! As a child the abominable snowman on Rudolph scared me! I have to close my eyes during the commercials for scary movies. I don't read scary books or watch any shows/movies that are scary. Sometimes I force myself awake and remain awake- because I have demons floating in whirling in my dream.

Diana Mcc. said...

I agree, the Real stuff: fire, intruders, etc. is what gives me nightmares. My husband loves the true crime T.V. shows. I watch one or two of those or read a suspense novel with graphic details of a murder and I don't sleep for a week!

Diana Mcc. said...

Hi, Judith,

The news can be extremely disturbing and disheartening. We had one local channel in California that always made it a point to have a "good news story" or "uplifting story" on each day. I really looked forward to that story.

Diana Mcc. said...

Hi, Sis!
I have heard of ghosts attaching themselves to humans to get around. I hope it's nice one, if it affixes it's self to me or you. I know you've been ghost hunting?!?

"People who believe themselves to be vampires and act the part". That's what I meant about the girl who sleeps in the coffin. She is just a Goth wanna-be vampire. xxx

Diana Mcc. said...


I wake up and can't go back to sleep if I dream of sharks. I guess that is my biggest fear, shark attack. I think in another life something bad happened with a shark.... I can't even look at a picture of one. My grandkids think it is pretty funny because I wouldn't watch "Finding Nemo" with them because of the shark.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Ghosts don't scare me anymore but the unknown does. My friends and hubby know that I worry about everything and if there is nothing to worry about, I find something. I don't think I could write something scary because I want everyone happy and content. Putting conflict into my stories is the hardest part of writing for me. After all the years of knowing you, I can't picture you writing scary plots.

Sending hugs...

Diana Mcc. said...

Hi, Paisley(Marlene) sure miss you. I'm up in Bend, OR now and able to spend more time writing. Don't you think as mothers we just naturally worry more? I know I do. thanks for stopping by!

Tam Linsey said...

I write Dystopia because of the scare factor, too. Some of the scenarios in other Dystopia I've read hit very close to home, playing on near future possibilities in the world. Great post!