Posted by: gisspar | July 24, 2009

Quote of the week

As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them. I got my knowledge of them, as I got whatever knowledge I have of the hearts and minds of human beings, through imagination working on observation. Like any other novelist. All this rule needs is a good definition of “know.”

Ursula K. Le Guin (via ayse)

Amen. Every time I heard “Write what you know” in college, I just sat there and thought “No one in this room knows anything yet.” And please, please do not ask that of a journalism major. Knowing who, what, where, when, why and in that order makes for profoundly yucky prose.



  1. It’s true that every creative writing prof tells their students to “write what you know” but it also helps to take a break, sit back and read up on some of your favourite influential writers. I’d like to suggest a handy little tool that can help you take this one step further: discover who influenced your influences! is a literary search engine and hopefully can be helpful towards your writing.


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