This post first appeared here on the Hidden Gems Books website. I thank Hidden Gems Books for giving me the opportunity to write this guest post and I hope you enjoy it.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the idea of writing what you know isn’t meant to be taken strictly literally and as today’s guest author Stephen Bentley puts it, the saying might be better expressed as “write what you feel”. Your experiences and emotions can be a great source of fuel for your imagination, and are the root of many great fiction novels. Learning to harness these experiences and draw from them is essential to authentic writing that draws the reader in to make them feel like they’re part of your story or world.
‘Write what you know’ is an old adage. Possibly older than me. I am now seventy-one years old. I started writing books three years ago. I guess another appropriate adage is ‘you are never too old to learn or to start.’
I have written an Amazon UK bestseller about my undercover cop days. I started that book about thirty years back but only got around to seriously writing it in 2015 after I had retired from work completely.
I also write crime fiction about an undercover cop. There’s a surprise. My first book was about the horrors of driving and the road culture in the Philippines where I now live. You may have noticed a pattern developing here – I used my life experiences to fuel my writing.
I have no idea who coined the phrase ‘write what you know’, but I think whoever did was right to a degree. However, it is an often misunderstood saying. We aren’t all blessed with such a vivid imagination we can write a novel with ease. If you are like me, getting on in years, I’m sure you have a wealth of stories at your disposal. They can be either personal experiences or stories you have heard from others. There is no copyright on ideas.
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