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I was told one time that the best way to write is to write about something you know.  How do you know what you know would make at least good writing?

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I think the primary kernel of truth in that statement is not so much about content as it is about credibility and verisimilitude. I've read fiction written about life on a US Navy ship where the author obviously knew very little about daily life in The Big Canoe Club. (I spent 12 1/2 years there.) So even if the story was good, I would get knocked out of the imaginary world when the author would have a sailor refer to the vertical divisions between rooms as walls instead of bulkheads, or call decks, floors. Credibility went right out the window. I've read interesting stories set in the music business, in the real estate business, in small-town churches... in short, if the story is a good one and the details are right, everything comes together. There's no one thing that can make a good story, but sadly enough, any one of many things can ruin a story.

I would have to agree with you.  Thank you for the input

I agree with what Tony said and would add, write about something, -- an idea, a place, a character -- that you can be passionate about. Unless you're writing news articles on assignment, (in which case, you don't get to pick at all) don't choose a subject just because you think lots of other people will be interested in it. If you aren't interested in it your readers will be able to tell.

Also, don't think that because you don't know EVERYTHING about something, that you don't KNOW it. Few of us have complete knowledge or perfect understanding of anything. Like Tony, I think "Credibility" is one of the key elements in readability, but....remember, unless you're planning to write an encyclopedia....a little bit of background research will help you find out what you don't know and need to find out, and then some more extensive and targeted research will get you over many if not most humps....make friends with a librarian....they're amazing people and they live to help....

Good Luck...oh, and find someone you can trust to be truthful to read your stuff...you don't have to change everything they don't like, but you'll have a better idea how your words work on others....



I agree completely with everything Tony and Susan said and would just like to add,


The best reason to write what you know is so that you have that depth of back ground to draw upon when the writing gets tough. When you have writers block, or are in need of progression, you already know what needs to happen next...instead of having to research it.


That may sound slightly pessimistic. But as we all know writing anything, even just one sentence, can be challenging. Expressing our self with words, period. Can be challenging.


I think in direct response to your question, it's not about the topic that creates good writing, it's always about the quality of of the wordsmithing..


You can write about just about anything about any topic and if its written in an interesting and engaging fashion people will find it interesting and enjoyable to read.


I recommend Steven King's On Writing. A book that is party autobiography (he calls it the story of how he got to be the way he got to be), part writing manual, and completely helpful to every writer who values writing as a craft.


bradley flora


I just might check the book out thanks.



I did pick the book up and started reading it.  I would have to agree for anyone just starting out writing to read it.  I would actually say it is a self help course for writing.  Thanks



Thank you for your input and it has helped. 




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