“Write what you know.” That’s what they told me early on at film school. I was shocked.
To me, that’s just plain lazy. Wow, don’t leave home, your pond, your life. Stay put, know only what you know.
What happened to imagination? What happened to being eternally open to the worlds of the wilds of imagination, of inspiration?
Advantages of Writing What You Know:
- Research is a piece of piss.
- You can just get on with writing your story.
- Your characters will be ‘more’ authentic.
- Your story world will be more authentic.
Disadvantages of Writing What You Know:
- People will insist that the story world is more important than the ‘real’ world you know, which has inspired your story. They will be write – woops, right. And they will be wrong. This may prove annoying, or deeply challenging. You may be acccused of using your imagination because your real world sounds too fantastical. Social realism thus becomes addressed as fantasy. So now, you are arguing authenticity. So who is the fantasist: you, or those who apply narrow real-world thinking to your story?
Advantages of Writing From Imagination:
c. Kylie J. Lawrence 2013