Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Write What You Know

We've all heard repeatedly "write what you know".  If everyone out there literally writes what they know, then some people scare the hell out of me!  

Of course, most of my blog topics are about things that I do know something about. 

In fiction, write what you know means (to me) take a real situation and "what if" it until you have a story. Nobody wants to hear about little Suzy going to the corner store for ice cream. But if little Suzy goes to the store for ice cream and walks in on a crime or a giant cockroach convention --that might just catch our interest. Reality plus embellishment equals fiction.

Research on your topic equals knowing also. I wrote a piece where two children heard a noise and went to investigate a few hours later. They found the dead body of a man who'd terrorized them on the floor, with flies buzzing around. A reader pointed out that flies wouldn't have gathered that quickly indoors, with no open windows, etc. She had researched it. Write what you know. 

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