English Flashbacks, Brain Matter, & Writing Ideas by C. L. Lewis www.creedgriffon.com

It never fails. Whether at a book signing, speaking to a
creative writing class, or talking with a fellow author, I’m always asked, “How do I decide what to
write about?” When given the opportunity for freestyle writing, I think a lot of people accidentally flash back to their English teacher at
the front of the class saying, “You have 30 minutes to write about the importance
of the African Tsetse fly. Go!” 

Stunned, you were
left thinking, ‘Gee lady! You must’ve had
an unhappy childhood, and now you’re trying to drag me into it!’ Tick tock, Tick
tock…
Meanwhile, ten minutes later, that blank piece of paper on your desk is staring back at you burning a hole in your retina… Adding insult to injury, you wound up with a C- on the thing, leaving your parents to believe that you were illiterate – destined for their support well into your 60’s.  

All joking aside, I have to admit, writing about something that
doesn’t interest you, in and of itself is a form of assessing your understanding of the
principles and structure of writing. But basically, timed writing, revolving
around boring subjects is just another form of torture! Yes, you read that correctly. In
other words, it ain’t no picnic! Right? Regardless, the entire experience can leave
a traumatic stain on your brain, something you’d rather not be reminded of. No
one likes being put in this position. 
However, creative writing is something quite different! I’m
speaking about the type of writing that is neither graded nor timed. It is
something we crazy people do for fun alongside cliff diving, and Wingsuit flying. Nevertheless, the entire world is at your fingertips, limited only by your
imagination! It’s quite a freeing pastime! Therefore, I’m compelled to remind
people that ask me, when choosing what they want to write about, the sky is the
limit! However, I always follow up with a few tidbits I’ve learned after many
years of facing off with my keyboard/computer, or pen and paper.

First of all, I tell people of all ages, “You need
to write about something that interests you, something you enjoy or know about.”
If you don’t know about the subject, and don’t mind doing a bit of research –
then more power to you:)
However, I’d stick to something you have a bit of knowledge on. Secondly, keep
in mind that when you write a larger novel, multiple characters usually mean, multiple
core messages. Meaning, your story can have a number of morals/fundamental
principles depending on what character’s point of view the reader may be
looking from. 

After writing my first young adult fiction book, The Road to Dendura, people would ask me, “What is your
story about?” I feel that my response was sort of like a deer in the headlights,
because actually there were multiple story lines woven throughout it. As an
author, you know your story better than anyone. You are the god of that story. You
know every detail and nuance. Therefore, when asked such a simple question, you
sometimes wonder how a simple reply can encompass each and every characters’ core message. But we’ll save that blog for another time!

For now, I hope I’ve helped a few fellow writers out there! If anyone else has helpful comments about choosing a writing topic, please feel free to comment.

Respectfully,

 

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