Welcome to my blog. Here, you will find information about my novels, life in Japan, as well as author interviews, discussions on writing, and more. Feel free to browse and if you enjoy a post, please comment. Thanks for reading!
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Write What You Know? Not Really
Everyone has heard the old adage “Write what you know.” I agree with it…to a point.
I’ve noticed many of my characters are an only child. That’s what I know because I’m an only child. Hina Takamachi, from my work-in-process novel The Super School Uniform, is an only child with divorced parents. That is something I know about. I believe all writers have “write what you know” built into their work. John Grisham used to be a lawyer, he writes lawyer books. Every character is part of the author, or parts of people the author knows. Jobs, settings, hobbies, authors work all sort of little things they know about into their stories.
That shouldn’t stop you from writing about what you don’t know. That’s what research is for. You want to write about space plumbers but don’t know the first thing about space shuttle launches? Find out. The amount of research needed will depend on how accurate you want your novel to be, as well as how much of the knowledge needs to be there. Jeffery Deaver does months of research and outlining before he writes his Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance novels.Christopher L. Bennett tries to ensure the accuracy of his science in Only Superhuman. Today’s era has made research a lot easier and not just because of articles on the Internet and vast databases. It is a lot easier to get in touch with people who work in the field you need information about. Law enforcement, businesses, and physics departments have email addresses to get in touch with and many are willing to provide answers to questions.
So, make the leap. Don’t be afraid to write a book about something you don’t know about. Study it, learn about it, ask questions. The more you know, the more your writing will improve.