About Me

My photo
I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Write what you know - or maybe not...

I'm the kind of writer who basically makes a career about writing what she doesn't know. I do minimal research, usually only the tiniest of details, and rely mostly on what I remember about things, rather than what I know.

I've always taken that old adage - Write what you know - as a piece of advice that applies mostly to emotions rather than to facts. And I think all of us are experts at feelings - it's what we know best. They're universal - sadness and joy and anger and fear and despair. It doesn't matter whether you're young or old, male or female, from Canada or China. Emotions are the same.

You can dress it up with whatever you want - a quiet story about a family in the country, a thriller that moves throughout Europe, a romance, a mystery, a horror story. But what makes a story true is emotion. At least that's how I write.

I can write about people completely different from me - as long as I get the feeling right. I can write about people thousands of years dead or thousands of years not-yet-born. I can write about anything, any time, any place, any situation - all I have to do is get the emotional truth of the story.

So I was delighted to read this article by Bret Anthony Johnston in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/08/don-rsquo-t-write-what-you-know/8576/

It's great to know I'm doing the right thing -


No comments: