Back to scheduled programming after NaNoWriMo. There is conflicting advice given in the writing world, and I guess this blog is in the thick of it as its name is write what you know. I received an assignment from my writing course last week, and my instructor was impressed and said I had done a good job. The topic I chose for this assignment was parenting teenagers, a topic I know very well since I am the parent of two teenagers.
After I read her summary though, I read another article online that said writing what you know is the worst possible advice for a writer. So, which one is it? I realize that writers cannot possibly know about every single thing they write about especially in the writing genres I enjoy the most–science fiction and fantasy. And there are many writers in those genres who write well. There are also many best-selling writers who I would assume don’t have intimate knowledge of every single thing they write about in their books either, and yet, they write well enough for their books to be best-sellers.
I believe these writers accomplish this by doing research and taking time to build the world you want to write about. All of us, as human beings, have the innate desire to learn, and if we choose to do so by making the effort, then we will be writing what we know even if we didn’t know about it when we first started. With that advice, I could amend the title of this blog to ‘Write What You know and Write What You Want to Know’. Sounds kind of awkward to me though. What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions? Or any other ideas about the opposing viewpoints? Leave your answers in the comments. Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time, be real!