Sunday, January 23, 2005

Write What You Know

Taken from Hieispike:

"Write what you know."

What aspiring fantasy or sci-fi writer hasn't heard that advice and cringed? We don't want to write about *us* - our lives are so boring and mundane. Or are they?

Everything you do that seems deathly dull is probably unknown and new, even alien, to someone somewhere else. Even if it's not, as a writer you should be able to make it seem that way to your readers.

Pick up the challenge. Take a slice of your normal, dull, boring daily routine and write it the way you would a fic. Keep it true but make it interesting. Write yourself in third person, the hero/ine of the newest chart breaking novel about a student/office worker/mother/net geek/whatever. Write what *you* know best.

Family Dinner

At exactly six o'clock every Sunday evening, Charles and his family would go to his grandmother's house for a family reunion and dinner. Book in hand, he jumped down the stairs expecting the rest of his family to be ready to leave. But he only saw his mother and sister.

Charles's father was still abroad, conducting business. His older brother, Chester, would be driving the family to their grandmother's house. By 6 pm, he had arrived at the house to pick up the family, while his wife, May, was at the front seat with him. Her stomach was bulging as she was with child.

There was a slight detour to the hospital General Santos. Apparently, May's waterbag had been broken several minutes earlier.

"It's strange but I don't feel any pain," May said.

"Oh, that was also the case when I gave birth to Chester," Charles's mother replied. "At the time, I even took a bath first, went to fetch a doctor from the hospital, and drove to another hospital because I wanted to give birth there. It's not such a big problem."

The trip was quick and May, along with her mother-in-law, went into the emergency room of General Santos. Charles's aunt, Erlinda, arrived to pick up Charles and his sister. It was a Sunday family dinner without both parents and one less sibling, but the dinner must push through nonetheless. Erlinda drove her nephew and neice to their grandmother's house for dinner.

Charles has been calling the place "Grandmother's house" for the past twenty-two years despite the misnomer. His grandmother had passed away a few years before, and the only ones living in that house was his bed-ridden grandfather and his aunt. Every Sunday, the clan on Charles's mother's side would gather to have dinner. That night, only his cousin came. His other uncle and cousin was still in Australia, and so the only ones at the table was his aunt, his sister, his cousin, the cousin's wife and child, and of course, himself.

The table seemed huge then. What's usually enough to accomodate nearly two-dozen people fed a quarter of that number. The dinner was quick and Charles sat silent the entire time, listening to what his relatives had to gossip and chatter about.

"If she wants to give birth, she can give birth," his cousin said.

May was in the delivery room, waiting to give birth to her daughter, Chelsie. Contrary to the melodrama seen on television, giving birth was more of a "waiting" rather than a "happening".


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