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.

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Responses

  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! infloox.com is a literary search engine and hopefully can be helpful towards your writing.


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