Ansley Asher

writing thoughts

Archive for write what you know

Don’t Just Imagine It All: Try It Yourself

“Write what you know,” is a phrase so worn out that it has all but lost its meaning. If I only wrote what I knew, my work would consist of lots of tea and lots of laying around playing video games and perhaps the passing of gas. I often have to make stuff up simply because there are a lot of situations I can create that don’t or can’t exist yet, like living on another planet, riding on a giant eagle, etc. But even someone like me can still try to “write what [I] know,” even when the story calls for giant eagles.

Visiting a shelter that cares for injured wild birds might be a good idea, for example, so I could see the birds in action eating, sleeping, and playing. Or I might want to try hang gliding, to see what its like first hand to fly free. In all honesty, you’d never get me up in a hang glider (I chose being a writer over being a master hang glider as a career for a reason, note the aforementioned tea and laying around), but it’s still an option. The point is to go out and try to experience something similar to what you want to write about in order to add some life to your work; in order to be able to bring something more to the notepad than, “He got on the giant eagle. It was big. And eagly. And the wind was in his hair. Oh, the wind! Hey, did I mention the wind? Oh yeah, I did. Again.”

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