Writing what you know is a really great piece of advice… as long as you realize that you actually know a lot. Unfortunately, that particular bit of writing advice, I believe, has become misconstrued along the way by people who have been bitten by the dreaded literalitis bug. You know, that dreaded disease where someone takes everything so literally you want to beat your head against the wall.
Some of these poor sick people will try to tell you that you should only write books about places you have been, people you know, and situations you have encountered. They will be real! They will be genuine! It will be….boooooring. Can you imagine how restricted literature would be with these parameters? Fantasy and science fiction would cease to exist. Horror writers would all be on death row. (High turn over rate in that horror genre.)
Writing what you know is not about that at all, it’s about emotions. Joy is joy. Terror is terror. Ecstasy is ecstasy. Our philological and mental responses to these emotions are almost identical whether the joy is from landing your dream job or witnessing your child accomplish a goal they had been struggling with. I can guarantee you that unless you are a robot, you have experienced a wide range of emotions. As a writer you are going to take all those feelings and feed them into your characters. When you do this your book comes alive with characters brimming with real and relatable emotions that resonate with your readers and prevent your characters from feeling flat and one dimensional.
So go for it guys! Write what you know each and every day. Translate what you know into the motivations and actions of your character and you will have a story you can be proud of.
Devri Walls lives in Kuna ID with her husband, two kids and one very bouncy lab. After suffering from an abundance of creativity with not enough places to put it, she turned to writing. Which in the end, turned out to be exactly where she should have been putting it all along.
Devri is hosting a tour wide giveaway. One lucky winner will win a Silver Wing Bracelet and 3 people will win their choice of any ebook in the Solus Series. Good luck! If you’re wondering what the bracelet looks like here’s a picture: