Write What You Know

I don’t want to sound like the rest of the writers out there who use this phrase endlessly. Would-be writers see this phrase and get ideas, but don’t put it down on paper well.
Perhaps I don’t even understand what it means.

Maybe it’s even something different to everyone.

But what I am thinking may ring true to someone reading, and/or I am resonating with the actual meaning in some way. We'll see. 

When I write what I know, I’m not just writing about something I’ve been through, something I’ve seen happen. That's part of it. But when I read the advice "write what you know," I feel this has to do with actually writing real things. Things inside your mind. 

Think about it.

You have a character. What makes that character? Thoughts. Life experience. Physical appearance. And so on. 

I read an interesting thing once, where the writer explained writing what you know can be applied to anything. Of course you have never stepped foot in space, at least most of us haven’t. But you can still write what it feels like to be there for the first time. Imagine yourself in that situation and looking around, what do you see? What would you feel? How would you handle the situation? 

Science fiction writers have never really gone into space.

Maybe they go on those tours where you can see how it feels to experience zero gravity, or if they are famous enough got someone in NASA to give them a tour of some sort.

That’s another type of writing what you know.

Then there’s digging deep into your heart. You have a plethora of stories whether you know it or not and even thought they come from you they can still be applied to many different characters.

Not many will understand what I’m talking about, and not many will even read these words. And that’s ok. Info is out there if you want to go looking for it.

But what I’m talking about is taking something like your simple outlook on life and subjects and thoughts and applying that to your character. If the character is a different type of person, you take the parts that are universal and then alter them to suit that character. 

We are connected beings. Even those who prefer to be alone and to themselves are connected in some way. Believe it or not, there is a lot more we all have in common than we'd like to admit. 

Universal ideas, thoughts, fears and the list goes on and  on. 

Ever hear the phrase that there is a piece of you in each of your character? Ever wonder where that line came from?

At least that’s how I see it. 

Write yourself, pull everything out, expose it, and watch the world resonate with your work because it's not trite and regurgitated. 

What do you think? Do you write what you know? And after reading this, do you have a better understanding of what it means? 

Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter  @WCMarchese.

Hope to see you there. 


Also, check out my YouTube channel with this link: www.youtube.com/Wcmarchese where you can listen to Gary Buller and my radio show where we talk about horror and other things going on in the industry. Also funny little clips and more to come. 

This past we had Brian James Lewis on the Horror with Marchese and Buller.

This coming Sunday we have Gemma Amore. Don't miss it! 

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