Saturday, July 15, 2017

Things that I'm By No Means Qualified to Write About (Yet I do Anyway)

"Write what you know."

It's one of the biggest pieces of writing advice touted around the writing community. yet ... honestly, how many authors actually follow it? Writers who write anything interesting that is?

I mean, if I just stuck to what I "know" all of my books would be about knitting and McDonalds ... which probably wouldn't be all that terribly exciting. I mean, it might, but I couldn't get terribly many plots out of that.

So let's talk about what I stubbornly write about even though I don't know beans about them.

Let's get the big one out of the way. I've never been in a relationship. I've never actually been "in love." I've never even been on a date! (Though I've had a few close calls) So why do I insist on throwing my heroines into the arms of heroes and making sure that there's at least one wedding or at least a proposal per book I write? Whyyyyyyy????

(Because my characters are cute, that's why)

As you can probably imagine from the fact that I've never even been on a date, I've never kissed a boy. Yet my love language is touch, and thus, for me, it just feels weird for couples to not physically express their affection, and yes, for (predominately) married couples, that means kissing. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU KISS??? LIPS TOUCH.  GERMS ARE EXCHANGED. THAT'S ALL I KNOW.

Swordplay, Archery, and Almost Any Other Form of Combat.
I own two knives and a staff, and my sister has a bow, but I can't afford any sort of lessons. So I just believe whatever I find on the internet and read in books.

Actually, I'm not 100% an idiot on this one, as I HAVE ridden a few times, and I've volunteered at few times at the Hippotherapy place where my sister volunteers regularly. So I know a little. And I have an expert on hand if I have questions but ... I'm not an animal person. I used to be terrified of horses. Even now, they intimidate me. So why do I keep writing characters with horses????

Living without Electricity.
I'm the sort of person who's almost perfectly content with the era she lives in. But I consistently set my books in worlds that don't have electricity. And then forget that they probably don't have good lighting at night.

I have multiple books with orphans and adopted characters in them - in semi- to modern day. But I honestly don't know much about the process. Outside of the fact that papers are involved. And a lot of money. But other than that, pft!

Attending a Big Church/Living in a Big House
These aren't things that have really played into my published books yet, but they're coming. But while I was in a big church for the first five years of my life, since then, it's been itty-bitty, everyone knows each other and is possibly related churches. And I've lived in trailer homes for about that long. So ... big houses? Wut R those? Yet I put my characters into these churches and houses.

Male POV
I'M A GIRL, ya know? I've never been a guy, probably never will be one, and yet I seem to think that I'm qualified to write from their perspective. *spoiler - I'm really not.*

So what do you write about that that you probably don't have the right?


  1. When I saw the title, I though, "I could write a post like that." After reading it, I just want to steal the whole thing. well not really.

    But seriously, most of these apply to what I write. Though I've managed to avoid writing with horses. And my house could be called big. Though the only big houses I have a basically palaces. everyone else has a small house or none at all.
    I also try to write battles with little military knowledge. And one book has ships. I've been on enoumous ships and tiny catamanrans (which proved I knew nothing of sailing), but not a proper ship. Combine those two things into a sea battle and I'm lost.

  2. I completely understand on ALL of these. It makes so much sense. I've never done any of those things either (although our family has adopted, I still have no idea how the process works).

  3. {I've lived with out electricity for three years!!} love this ☺ I write about my passions and ideas and thoughts. I'd hope I know my thoughts 😂 But as I experience life I do realize that as I write I learn more about what I think I know. And I'm a way I learn as I write ☺ when I do write romance into my stories I don't feel I'm writing about things I don't know, though. First I have friends - friends, families, relationships, love it all followed the same premise of doing what's best for the other. When I was in a relationship of sorts for a short time this belief was only strengthened. So - I wouldn't say we don't know about what we write ;) we just lack experience to prove our theories 😂 Or adequate experience in some cases. Lovely post!!!!

  4. I don't know too much about these things either, but research goes a long way! I think that the hardest thing for me to write is a guy's POV.

  5. I like this list! I think that "write what you know" line is more of an excuse some people give us because they just enjoy reading a different kind of story and they're trying to get us to write theirs. Write what you love!

    1. XD Well, there is a grain of truth to it, but I think there's a difference between "knowing" and "knowing." So, yeah.

  6. I'm in the same boat with most of these. With the character-related ones, like romance and male POV, I sort of just do what seems natural for the character. I know the character, and I've watched people and read about people, so I know how they act, and so far it seems to work. And the rest . . . I research what I can, and for the rest, well, I write fantasy, so if I really need something to work, I can come up for an explanation why it's different there from on earth.

    As for things not on this list that I really have no right to be writing . . . Anything involving tactics (I fancy myself a tactician, but I'm really not; I don't think things through enough)
    -Stuff relating to ships and sailing (which I've mostly avoided so far, but Jake keeps telling me stuff about the ocean around Berstru and his adventures there and I'm very tempted to try something)
    -Living in an Asian-type community rather than an American/Western European-type one
    -Anything Old Western-ish (yet I have an entire subplot set in a Fantasy Western-type setting)
    -Polygamous and mixed families (or large families in general . . . though I have a little bit more chance writing large families, since I know several)

    Anyway. I quite enjoyed this post!

    This cracks me up, because that's almost exactly how I think on the subject (when my inner romantic is asleep, LOL). I can *imagine* how it feels when two people kiss...but to write all that slush in actual text? Ick. And then READ II ALOUD to my MOTHER?! Double Ick! :-P So, yeah, I generally gloss over it or avoid it altogether. #COPOUT

    Romance in general is a bit easier, having seen enough movies and read enough books (and had my share of schoolgirl crushes, ugh) to get an idea of what it's like to be in love. Plus I've gathered several nuggets of more or less Godly wisdom on what True Love involves--and not just Warm Fuzzies, neither.

    Male POV--yeah, same problem as you. But I do it anyhow. Like Sarah, I generally write what seems to fit the character, doing a little research if need be. Observing how male characters act in books and movies helps to some degree, too.

    Horses--they seem almost a necessity for fantasy and pre-automotive age stories ('cos, y'know, how else are you going to get around? Unless your MC happens to be a Dragon-rider or some such thing...). I have several horses in the plans...I just never think to mention them much. :-P

    Then there's anything to do with battles and strategics, and all that rot. 'Course I have such a horror of gore and violence that I tend to avoid battle scenes if at all possible. :-P

    Sailing and other nautical what-nots--erm, I know port is left and starboard is right...? Other than that...well, let's just say half of Treasure Island may as well have been written in Chinese, for all I understood. And yet my alter ego spends several months aboard a pirate ship at one point....

    So yeah, there's some truth to the "Write what you know" thing, but like you said, if we only wrote what we knew everything about...well, our stories would be rather boring. When we're inspired to write about things we're not as familiar with, it's an opportunity to learn something new. That's how we grow--both as writers and as people.

    Great post! Gets one thinking. :-D


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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