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September 20, 2010


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;-) Great pics! I see wild turkeys now and then, but never so many. I'm more likely to see wild quail, as chicks and then as grown ups. Sigh.

As for write what you know? Well, write what you can make up so it seems you actually know what you're writing about. That's me motto! And make sure it's something no one else could know about so no one can call you out about what you mucked up... No world rules but the ones I invent! Bwah ha ha!

Or write what you want to know about. What you're enthusiastic about, whether you know it inside and out or not. Or ride someone else's enthusiasm into a story you enjoy writing...

It's Monday, I'm one big bit of contrary-ness!

Donna Cummings

Ack, my comment got stolen! I'll have to see if I can do it again from memory. LOL

Maureen, this is the place for contrary-ness -- I applaud it and I encourage it. :)

I like your plan to make up your own world, since it does make it easier to decide how it should work.

And I didn't have a pic of all the wild turkeys at once -- they kept spreading out and I couldn't get them to cooperate. They are WILD, after all. LOL


Love that picture too! And that comment of not getting the release from the male turkey cracked me up. LOL

I totally agree. Writing what I don't know, but excites me, is a much more productive experience. Frustrating, but productive. I know I will want to get back to it and learn more. Also, in my experience, when I've started out writing "what I know" it doesn't stay that way for long. Something unusual (paranormal even) is bound to happen out of the blue so I guess that's my mind's way of saying it's had enough with what I know! LOL

Donna Cummings

Melissa, if you could have seen me leaning over the kitchen sink, hanging the camera out the window, and trying not to startle them - LOL. I wish I could have run around and taken the pic from outside, but I know they would have run.

I'm like you - I might START writing something I know, but it ALWAYS veers into something that's going to require research. Which is when I realized, "Hey, I think my brain is doing this deliberately!" So I guess we just have to stick with the stuff that excites our brains. :)

Liz Fichera

I remember reading someone say recently, "Write what you want to know." That resonated with me. Great pics!

Donna Cummings

Liz, that is a good one! I think that's what motivates us sometimes. Or, if nothing else, it justifies us researching different topics. LOL

Tracy Roper

Wonderful advice! I'll take it! I've become an expert on WWII airplanes, not that i ever think i'll fly one. But i have some characters who do!
Thanks, Donna :)

Donna Cummings

Tracy, that sounds so cool -- WWII airplanes. I went to an air show about a month ago, because I had a scene in mind for some characters. I took some pics -- they even had a biplane, and brave souls were going UP in it (not me! LOL) It's always good to collect the info, even if you don't think you'll use, cuz you never know!


Donna - what I know (also living here in New England) is that you don't want those turkeys adding your yard to their foraging routine. The novelty quickly wears off, they make a lot of noise - very early in the morning - and they are veritable pooping machines. My wife and I have spent many a meal hour discussing how to get rid of them, legally.

(FYI, at this time of year, the flock would be all males, which is why they fight. They also attack my car, or more accurately, their "rival" images reflected by the metalic black color.)

Donna Cummings

Pete, now I know a LOT more about these critters than before! That's really funny about attacking their rivals in the car image -- I guess I didn't think about them being so aggressive.

My "yard" is actually a big open space shared with a couple other houses, so I don't know that we'll be able to prevent them foraging here. Mmm. Sounds like trying to outsmart the Roadrunner. LOL

Thanks for adding all the great info to my turkey knowledge base tho!

Terri Osburn

No one ever tells an actor to "act what you know". They get to learn all kinds of things, how to fly a plane or race a car or sail a boat. They don't know it going in, but afterward they look like experts.

That should get to apply for writers as well.

But when I think of what you know, I think of life experiences and emotions. My heroine is a teacher, which I've never been and don't want to be. But she's also a single mother who dealt with a cheating ex and has trust issues. THAT, I know. :)

Terri Osburn

Hey, I got to comment without the little secret code. Ha!

Donna Cummings

Oooh, Terri, great analogy with the actor thing! You're right, they get to learn all this great stuff, AND they talk about all the time they spent training and learning -- it definitely SHOULD apply to writers. (I'm applying it from now on!)

And I agree wholeheartedly with life experiences and emotions being really what is "write what you know". I'm writing a book about an unexpected breakup, because I have experienced that -- but not in the way it happens in the book, and I only WISH the outcome in real life was like in the book! LOL

Donna Cummings

Oh, and I took off the code in the hopes it might help people who have told me they can't post a comment. I don't know if it's helping, but it's less work for us now!

Alex Wilson

Read your post with great interest and agreement. I even wrote on the same subject on my own blog a few weeks ago. The researching is wonderfully enriching and gives veracity to the scenes and locations. If I were a wealthy man, I would personally visit and experience the places but Wikipedia does a boffo job of digging the dirt and will have to do until my ship comes in. Hmmm. What kind of ship? Think I'll look into that...

Donna Cummings

Alex, thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed reading your blog as well. :)

And I wouldn't mind my very own "research ship" so I could travel to a variety of places for my books. In fact, I wonder if I might end up with different plots if I researched a place FIRST. I'd like to test that theory!

Jan O'Hara

I've tried to write what I must and it never works out. As you say, I want to yawn in my own face. ;)

LOL about the male turkey. As for the animal kingdom at work, if you doubt the pecking order, just wait in line for a Halo game release.

Donna Cummings

Jan, maybe writing what we already know irritates the "inner contrarian", who insists on us being excited about something else. LOL I don't think I've had a book yet where I didn't have something new to research!

LOL about the Halo game release and the pecking order.

And yesterday a male turkey developed a crush on my neighbor's shiny SUV. LOL I hope the poor animal wasn't too crushed when the car didn't respond to his mating overtures!

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