Write what you don’t know


This is an excellent blog post on a topic I have written about before, and I think it is a very useful treatment of this writing issue.

Rule of Three

I know, this is late, and I’m sorry. I could come up with a fascinating excuse about being chased by spies through railway stations, or whisked away to Oz, or just finding myself trapped underground with the water slowly rising, but none of these are true (this time…). I just got very confused as to my days.

Anyway, this is what I wanted to say.

Write what you know, we are told, often. Well, if I did that, I’d only write about disappointing shopping trips and not getting round to doing the washing up. Mrs Hudson in my book has been a wife and mother. I’ve been neither of those, I can’t write what I know about it. I have to imagine it.

If people only wrote what they know, we’d have no Lord of the Rings, or Narnia, or Wind in the Willows, or Harry Potter….

I’d like to…

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10 thoughts on “Write what you don’t know

  1. As I commented on her blog, I reject any rules regarding creative expression and creative output, which includes writing. The key is the quality of the output rather than the source. I believe we write what we subconsciously channel from the universe, our collective energy. I had a strange experience one time at school. I forget the school subject, but we were all told to write about something; there were 20 students, more or less in that class. And we all wrote by ourselves. No collaborating. We shared our pieces. Who knows who picked up whose writing, but this one person who did not sit anywhere near me had written exactly the same thing I wrote.

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  2. I wrote to Rule of Three: I’ve been thinking about this myself recently–about the magic of creating someone who doesn’t actually exist and then creating a mind for that person—almost always a kind of person you’ve never been and never will be. I’ve done that with every book, especially since I’ve written from a male pov most of the time. I was once told by a (bizarre) agent at a conference that a woman couldn’t write as a man and vice versa. I thought, my goodness, you’d have to throw out enormous chunks of world literature if you truly believed that! For example, Shakespeare. . . . ! Thanks for the inspiring thoughts. And thanks for reposing!

    Liked by 1 person

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