One of the oldest “Rules” of writing out there is:
“Write what you know.”
Naturally, once you get into genre fiction, this doesn’t hold water under any kind of close inspection. If we all stuck with writing about what we knew, stories featuring faster than light travel, Dragons, magic, and galaxies far, far away simply wouldn’t exist.
But they do, and we’ve got them because of what I believe is one of the few (if not the only) “Break at your Peril” rules of writing:
“Write what you Love.”
Write the stories you love to tell. Write the stories you love to read, because read them you will.
Even if you’re working on a short story, you’re going to be with that story for a long time.
You’ve got to be the story’s first, and biggest fan.
You’ll need to be to go over it as thoroughly as it takes to get it done.
That’s why I say, “Break this rule at your peril.”
If you don’t absolutely love what you’re working on, it’ll show, and your readers will pick up on it.
Like playing an instrument, technically, perfectly, without that passion, the sound falls flat. There’s no soul.
It’s your passion, your love that breathes life into your words.
Forget about trends, forget about what’s selling at the moment. Write the story that’s in your head and heart. The one that’s bursting to come out.
The worst thing, the – absolutely – worst thing that can happen is that you’ll end up with nothing but a story you love.
And that ain’t nothin’