I've been thinking about the whole "write what you know" concept. Sure, that's great. But what if the stuff you "know" really shouldn't ever be made into a novel? Like, ever?
In my first novel, my heroine is an ER doctor. Cool. I've done that job, so that's writing about something I know. (And NO Allison is not me, because I'm not that skinny, tormented, awesome, and I don't want kids. So there.)
There are a lot of visceral injuries throughout all of my novels because apparently I'm not "well-adjusted" or have "suppressed feelings" or something all psychological like that. (You work in rural ER's, you'll see about a thousand bizarre ways the human body can be broken, mangled, and destroyed. After duct taping that mess back together, crying, praying or hosing yourself off, it occurs -- that's good fodder for writing!)
My upcoming 3rd book features a kick-ass nurse as a heroine, so again, there's that medical aspect of verisimilitude in the novels. Ok, fine, none of the nurses I know are actually 150 years old, but I enjoy researching the history of medicine, so there's that.
But as I'm getting ready to embark on a new series, contemplating new characters, situations, occupations, and scenarios, it occurs to me that "write what you know" can only take a writer so far. In some circumstances, you should NOT write what you know. Sometimes simply making stuff up (pie maker meets speed skater, for example) is safer, if you work in certain fields.
So, as an exercise in the theatre of the ridiculous: I double dog dare you all -- try and turn these into romance novels!
#10) Postal worker meets disgruntled customer and they fall madly in….nope.
#9) Penniless feminist slam poet + ruthless and driven CEO gabillionaire. Actually, there might be promise here. Their child would produce haikus worth $50K/poem and junior would wear shabby chic clothing that goes for $500/shirt but looks "distressed".
#8) Garbage collector +….. (again, I think it's the scent, not the scenario or the type of employee -- if you do it right, the hero garbage collector could have some rockin' forearms and phenomenal stamina)
#7) Circus elephant poo scooper +….. (see above -- interesting setting but wouldn't feature this character for same reason -- scent)
#6) Disgruntled family doc who plows through hours of prior authorizations meets cost-slashing hospital CEO and a medical insurance adjustor. (It's a menage-a-trois from hell. Actually has potential in the paranormal market. The CEO will have hooves and horns and the adjustor will blow smoke up the heroine's ass as part of the three-way. Yet only one party gets screwed. Yeah.) (Uh oh. Sounds like it's time to talk to a counselor again for me. Sorry for the thinly-veiled rant.)
#5) Sexy mortician falls in love with.... No, no, no. First of all, when things get hot and heavy, everything's going to smell like formalin, and having lived through Gross Anatomy class, let me say that THAT particular scent is a buzz kill. (If there is erotica that features necrophilia, please never let me know. Rigor mortis is all fun and games until someone/something gets stuck. Yuck. Double yuck. Barf.)
#4) Speaking of ass, endoscopy is part of my costumed not-so-superhero day job. Not even if you pay me, will I work an impacted food bolus removal or colonoscopy into a novel. I might mention colon cancer and prevention because that's the soap box I'm currently standing on. But never ever will my H/H meet over the south end of a scope.
#3) Abattoir owner. Nope. Temple Grandin did a great nonfiction on this topic, by the way. But not romance.
#2) Octomom-type character + …… Nope. No time for romance. Would be more of a multitasking/child care how-to book.
#1) Homebound "Assassin's Creed" gamer virtually falls in love with a "Halo" player. Virtually have sex in between purchasing more ammo and lives. Virtual discussion about prenup results in someone virtually getting a grenade lobbed at him. It's like Tron, except with less spandex and helmet lights and more acne and body odor. This story could fly.
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Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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