Fearless learner, curious creature, powerful survivor. Emotions slide through trembling bodies like landslides, revealing gems that gleam through the darkness. Control is sought and gained timelessly, caught in a cycle of destruction and success. Wanting hands clasp destiny in their palms, fingers curled tight enough to leave crescent-shaped marks in too-soft flesh.
Okay, so I’ve talked a lot about writing what you know and how
important that is, but it’s hard to offer practical examples so here’s
I lived in Hawaii for a while. Now, it just so happened to work
out for the book I’m currently writing that four of my characters go on a weird,
messed up vacation and Maui was the ideal destination. And let me just tell
you, I’ve had a freakin’ blast writing about it because not only is it a great
trip down memory lane, but there are things you’d never be able to describe
about Maui unless you’d been there–like crawling up the side of a mountain in
the dark in the jungle in a car with an engine that barely runs, wondering if
you’re about to lose power completely and slide down a hill to your death. Or
the way the whole island looks like it’s on fire when they burn the cane and
how you have to close all the windows so you don’t wake up covered in ash in the morning. Or the absolutely
unholy stench from the sugar factory that hangs over the airport. Or waking up
and finding a lizard on the ceiling directly above your face. Or how you learn
to just eat ants like a garnish because they’re fucking everywhere and there’s
literally nothing you can do about it. Those kinds of details you really can’t
manufacture. Now before you say, “But you lived in Hawaii, that’s so exciting, and my life is so boring, I don’t know anything” (because someone
always says that), allow me to preempt you: this applies to everything and everywhere.
Your high school, your hometown, that restaurant you worked in in West Covina. If you’ve ever worked a job or lived in a
place or had a hobby where the details are familiar to you, you can write them
with an authenticity that can’t possibly be faked, and that will add tremendous
depth to your story, whatsoever it may be. It doesn’t matter if it’s not, on
the surface, exciting. Authenticity in fiction is engaging and addictive,
because that’s when a reader goes Wow. Yes. I can see that. Or
even, I know EXACTLY that feeling. In some ways, the more
mundane, the better. Because if you can do justice to a mundane experience,
everyone else in the world who has had it will have an absolutely transcendent
moment seeing it prose.
So. Write what you know. You know a lot more than you think.
Now, as people are wondering why the heck the Barry-Cisco plotline was resolved on Legends, let me take you back to this time last year, when 2x09 just completely and totally disregarded everything that happened in 2x08.
2x08: Harry almost dies from a gunshot wound to the heart.
2x09: Opens with Harry sprinting through STAR Labs and power-sliding across the floor.
2x08: Patty shoots Harry.
2x09: Ends with Barry inviting Harry and Patty to the same Christmas party.
2x08: Patty discovers that some seriously bizarre stuff is going on at STAR Labs.
2x09: Patty does not demand to know wtf is going on, and happily hangs out with Joe and Caitlin (who she should believe are sheltering a murderer).
2x08: Harry and Caitlin develop Velocity-6.
2x09: No one mentions Velocity-6.
2x08: Jayzoom shows up to berate Harry and Caitlin. He has no romantic interactions with Caitlin (and none since 2x03).
2x09: Cisco acts like Caitlin and Jayzoom have been flirting endlessly for some time.
What I’m saying is, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Cisco to STILL be mad at Barry in 3x09. (And tbh he wouldn’t be the first person to forgive someone and then realize, actually, no, I didn’t totally mean that.)