Writing what you know

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I’ve read numerous articles regarding what writers of fiction – or non-fiction for that matter – should write about:

  • You should write about what you know
  • Expand your horizons, write about what you don’t know and research the heck out of the subject matter

In my case, I did both: I wrote about what I knew very intimately – caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease – and I performed a great deal of research to augment and supplement the personal knowledge I acquired over my father’s multi-year disease journey.

I enjoyed the research almost as equally as I enjoyed going through my personal journals and my father’s medical records that documented the progress of his fatal disease.

Perhaps “enjoy” isn’t exactly the most appropriate descriptor of the developmental process for my novel, REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO. Perhaps the more appropriate descriptor is that I was fully engaged and committed to accurately tell every nuance of the story.

You see, the greater portion of the story was very personal to me and my family but it was also a story I knew was representative of so many in the world dealing with the same horrific disease onslaught. I took my story-telling responsibility of portraying the reality of the physical and emotional toll on caregiver and patient very seriously, but I also included humorous incidents that crop up from time to time when you least expect it … because as with all things in life, even during the darkest of times, humor can be found if we’re open to its sanity-saving presence.

And those of you in-the-know understand how important it is to nurture the fading remnants of sanity onto which you are holding.

REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO, to be released by Black Rose Writing, July 2017

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2 thoughts on “Writing what you know

    Jill Weatherholt said:
    March 22, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Thank you for writing this book, Irene. No doubt it will help many, myself included.

      Irene Olson responded:
      March 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      That is my hope, Jill. Thank you for your support.

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