Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Write What You Know

We've all heard it before.  It's possible I've even blogged about it before.

But I'm going to address it again today.

Write what you know.  What exactly does that mean?  It can't be literal, can it?

I sure as heck hope not.  Because if I could only write what I know, I'd have a bunch of single female characters who like to read and write, dabble in golf and photography, and once rode horses.

My characters would all sit around in their apartments wondering if they're ever going to meet someone, hoping that when they do the relationship comes without drama.

My characters would all be nerdy and self-conscious, aware of all their flaws, and all have lost a parent.

This would get really boring, wouldn't it?

Which is why tomorrow and Thursday, I'll tell you how I write what I know, how I interpret this little "rule" that circulates through the writing community.


  1. Sounds good :) I can't wait for tomorrow's post.

  2. Hope it doesn't disappoint. Thanks for coming by!

  3. Looking forward to the following parts!

  4. Can't wait to see what you say. For me, I have a philosophical approach to that rule

  5. I don't think that sounds boring at all! In fact, I think your kind, photography-loving single character is getting set up for an exciting plot!

  6. Thanks, Kenon. They should be interesting. (I hope.)

    Oooh, Christine, I'd love to hear your approach (if you haven't already blogged about it).

    Julie, you're sweet. Thanks.

  7. LOL. My books would all be about middle-aged housewives with lots of kids. Booooring. I think write what you know can be interpreted very broadly.

  8. Sounds interesting. I heard once you should write who you are more than just what you know.

  9. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this! :)

  10. Can't wait to read more. I write fantasy, maybe because what I know is boring and I love escaping to more exciting worlds.

  11. Hadn't thought of it like that! But surely they have hidden fears or secrets. Surely there is so much more to these characters you observe from one leval only. How do you know they don't see fairies in the garden and don't tell anyone. Well, I'll guess were have to wait to see what happens next...


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