If you’re looking for a writing topic, do what poet and short story writer Raymond Carver did.
Carver wrote about people and situations that made a lasting emotional impression on him.
In an interview with Nicholas O’Connell for the book, At the Field’s End: Interviews With 22 Pacific Northwest Writers, published in 1987, Carver said the stories and poems he’d written were not autobiographical but have a starting point in the real world.
“Stories don’t just come out of thin air; they come from someplace, a wedding of imagination and reality, a little autobiography and a lot of imagination,” Carver said in the interview. Read more
In a Scripts & Scribes interview with literary magazine Tin House editor Rob Spillman, he said one thing that influences him to publish a submission is an author who writes with authority.
Writing with authority means ensuring that the tone, details and language of your story are confidently written so that readers are willing to live in the world you’ve created.
Writing with authority covers so many aspects of writing that — done well — you’re more likely to attract the attention of editors and agents. Here are some tips:
Be believable. Believable isn’t the same as boring or predictable. But characters and plot need to be realistic in the realm of the story you’re writing about. You’ll knock your reader right out of the story world you’ve created if you present a story line that doesn’t ring true.
“Nix stereotypes and the dreaded deus ex machina, in which a critical problem is suddenly solved with a contrived addition of a new event, superpower, object, or character.” Read more