Friday, November 18, 2005

Write What You Know

For my entire writing career, I’ve always heard “write what you know”. But what I really believe is this: Write what you want to know.

I haven’t really lived a very long life, so if I wrote what I knew, I’d put readers to sleep. I don’t know if elves, fairies, dragons or dwarves really exist. Or if there really is such a thing as magic, ghosts and angels. I’ve never killed anyone or used drugs or been involved in a sword fight. I’ve never time traveled to the past or the distant future. I’ve never been in a hurricane or a blizzard or even seen more than a foot of snow (I live in Texas).

But I write about all these things. I write about magic and dragons, blizzards and sword fights. Just because I’ve never seen or done these things, doesn’t mean I can’t write about them. Right?

It’s one part imagination and another part research and reading. Read voraciously. Everything you’re interested in and maybe things you don’t know you’re interested in. Part of being a writing is being inquisitive and learning.

So. Write what you know and what you WANT to know.

2 Comments:

At 10:34 AM, Blogger fin said...

I've always hated that expression. It should be: write what you want to read.

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Dennie McDonald said...

So true Mik! Thanks for the post!

As someone your age (ehem - not telling though) I feel the same way. If I ever wanna write about kids - I got that covered, but as I am with them ALL day, writing what I do know about is the last thing I want to do.

I like imagination - it makes the day go by faster!

 

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