Sunday, July 30, 2017
What Do You Know?
I'm not sure how her teacher responded but I applauded her innate understanding of the idea of writing what you know. This is a complicated and often misunderstood concept. If it is interpreted at its most basic level it would mean the police should be knocking on Maggie King's door and let's not even begin to discuss Pynk. Writing what you know may have more to do with writing about emotions, feelings, and experiences you understand, even if they are then set on Mars, in locales you have researched but never lived in.
You may never have been accused of murder but you may have felt the injustice of being misunderstood or having your motives questioned.
You may not have lost a brother but you have felt the loss of something that meant a lot to you.
You may never have flown in a spaceship, walked on another planet, or encountered an alien race but you've probably felt the exhilaration of a new, exciting, and deliciously dangerous experience.
You may not have killed anyone but you may have felt the rage or longing that took you to the brink of committing a crime.
What has been your experience writing about locales and experiences foreign to you? What steps do you take to ensure your writing is authentic?