Most writers will have heard this phrase. It’s a common piece of writing advice often given out to new writers. But should you always write what you know?
Writing what you know is sensible advice, after all you may write about something which you have no knowledge of and get it all wrong but when it comes to creative writing this doesn’t always apply. What if you are writing fantasy or sci-fi? What if you want to just make it up?
On one side of the debate you could say that fantasy is still usually based upon real issues and therefore may still be related to your own knowledge. However there’s one reason writers should forget this piece of advice and concentrate on what you want to write.
It all comes from you!
You may research, you may make it all up, you may take aspects from your life or another’s life but it’s still all coloured by your interpretation and judgements.
So there’s no need to focus too much on ‘writing what you know’ (unless you are writing your biography).
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