Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Write Dangerously

I posted on my own blog on Saturday about writing dangerously. It's a term my crit partner, Laura Pauling, used to get me to think outside the box.

I can't get it out of my mind. Write Dangerously. We joked about putting it on a t-shirt. But what does it mean?

My MS is largely based on my own memories. It's not memoir, but it's drawn on things I did as a teen, my family, friends, our family business. And it's been a hard climb because I've been stuck in "what really happened" vs. fiction. And I realize that I haven't been writing dangerously. I'm worried about making characters do things that didn't happened, say things that weren't said, etc.

My character, Kate, IS me. But she can't be--I need to write her dangerously. While keeping the things that work about the character and the MS.

Kill the darlings, they say. You don't have to delete the first draft, but try to write from scratch. It's scary, I know. I'm still working on it. But Write Dangerously.

How do you write dangerously?

Kris, wondering if she's getting more mileage than she should from this topic. And thanking Laura for her wisdom and kicks in the butt.


  1. I just try and get everything down in the first draft, then I pull it together during revisions. Writing dangerously ultimately has to be done, so that you advance the characters and the story. You just have to let go and trust your instincts.

  2. I'm totally wearing the t-shirt at the conference. We're writers. Sometimes we need a little danger. ;)

  3. I think it's a great phrase. As writers, we're often told, "Write what you know", and some authors use that as a reason to stick to the safety zone. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to stories that aren't quite as interesting as the author might like. As writers, I think we need to push those boundaries a bit.