I don’t smoke, so you rarely see a character who does that, this, or anything else I don’t like (for instance, eating biscuits with gravy. YUCK!) I can admit my habit because I understand the reason. It's where I feel most comfortable. I can write what it’s like to wiggle my fat butt into a pair of skinny jeans, or swaying my hips while walking in a pair of stilettos, because it’s what this diva does.
But what I’ve learned as an author is that sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone. Now, I don’t recommend that for new authors because I’m always quick to preach, “Write what you know.” However, as a seasoned author, we have to continue to challenge ourselves as writers. Isn’t it all about growing and developing our craft? Well, of course it is.
One of my challenges in this coming year is to create characters who aren’t anything like me (that’s hard). And especially, to create men other than the ones I find attractive (now that's even harder). LOL. But that’s what makes writing so fun.
As an author I can escape to a tropical island and be made love to by the finest brotha, but the challenge is to create someone different, then step into that woman’s shoes (I'll try a pair of flats) and feel what it’s like to be her. Step two. I need to have an open mind so that the next time I see a man who isn’t chocolate with a beautiful smile, dark eyes, and a goatee (I’m pausing to pant), I need to identify some other attributes that another woman might find attractive.
Hmmm, I think that’s going to be the challenge for my next book, or better yet, a novella. Remember, baby steps. I gotta master the technique first.