image

They say, “Write what you know,” but who are they? What do we know? Well, let’s see.

They, are the experts who decide if our writing lives live or die. They are the men and women who give us advice on how to succeed and how to keep our work from the slush piles of mediocrity and anonymity. The unknown They Peoples of the world are our worst enemies and our best friends all rolled into a human body. It is to them that we write, for without them our writing would not be the best it possibly can be, nor would the world get a chance to read it.

Write what you know? To some people this means writing about only things that we’ve lived and experienced ourselves. If we went by that, there would be a lot of boring books with no resounding reason to read them. They would all sound marginally the same. Reading as a pastime would drop off the existence world.

Truthfully, we can write about almost anything. We don’t have to live the life of a murderer to write a good murder story. We don’t need to have captained a ship to write about a captain’s life. What we need to do is learn how to research. Research, done properly, can open the world of imagination and make our stories sound just as real as if we’d lived them ourselves.

Few of us have ever been presidents, yet there are over a dozen movies that have been made and even a TV series about what goes on behind the private doors of the White House. Those writers didn’t have that job. They didn’t know someone who did. What they did know was how to research and read books written by people who’d had that life. Through reading these peoples thoughts, hardships and triumphs, those writers were able to accurately depict a life they’d never nor ever would have.

Not knowing the story does not mean that we can not become qualified to write about it. It just means that to write about it correctly, we need to delve into the life our character has lived. We need to read about similar people in real life. Then we can write about anything we want to because we will be, “Writing what we know.”

Advertisements