Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic is whether we agree or disagree with the old adage “Write what you know” and why.
I didn’t realize how tough a question this was until I settled in to write this post. I actually don’t have a definitive answer to this.
As a writer, I write plenty I don’t know – I don’t know what it is to be a vampire or a faery or a witch or a reincarnated king, and I’ve written every single one of those. Aside from the fantasty aspect, I don’t know what it is to be a man, yet I write from my heroes’ POVs in every book.
But (you knew that was coming, right? The big “but”), when it comes to writing, say the fantasy stuff, I do know it, because I make it up. It’s my creation, my worlds. I write notes (lots and lots of notes), I make sure everything is consistent and don’t change willy nilly. The rules of those worlds are concrete and remain so through the book and/or series.
As for writing from a male POV… Well, conversations in this house do get interesting. I’ve been known to ask the hubs and any other male foolish enough to hang around how they would react to a situation, etc. Not saying I write how a typical man would react, think or feel, but again, I build the character and him consistent thoughout.
See how it’s complicated? Yes, write what you know, but if you don’t know it…
1) Research the crap out of it – a profession, a specific event, a locale, a time period, etc.
2) Make it up, create something, but make sure it’s consistent.
And here comes another BUT… When it comes to making it up? That works when it comes to fantasy and paranormal. Even when it comes to building an individual character, but I’ll be flat out honest here, there are things I won’t write because I don’t feel I have the perspective or knowledge, even with research, to do it well. There are some things, I believe, that without firsthand experience, I can’t write effectively. And I’m okay with that. I’ve enough to work with, and plenty of fantasy/paranormal stuff to keep me busy. LOL
So yes, write what you know. Research. And feel free to make stuff up, but FFS, be consistent. There, that’s my answer. LOL
And that’s all I’ve got this week. It’s been a rough one, a tad stressful so far. So this is me tonight….
Okay, that MAY have been averted by channeling Olivia Pope (from Scandal)
Until next week!