How to Write

You might want to have one of these, to start out.
You might want to have one of these, to start out.
You’re probably wondering who the hell I think I am, telling people how to write. Well, I know as much about writing as a lot of people, and I do not tell people how to write. I suggest, the implication being that if you don’t follow my advice you’re just being stubborn.

Suggestion 1: Write What You Know!

Everybody has heard this. People who can barely write their names have heard it because someone said it on TV. But guess what. It’s true! It’s common sense. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you shouldn’t try to talk about it. It’s like having Uncle Dick give you advice on how to treat your cataracts because, “Doctors don’t know nothin’.” Uncle Dick(brain) was 22 years old when he graduated from high school because of all the times he was held back.

Example: Let’s say I’m writing a novel. I could place it in New York City, where I live, but that’s too boring. Instead, I place it in Ulan Bator. I don’t know Ulan Bator from a Port-A-Potty in Kansas. So I look up a few Mongolian names on the Internet, assign them to my characters, have them all living in big tents and riding horses. The result? I have a book that goes viral in Mongolia because everyone is laughing at it.

On the other hand, I know a lot about living in New York City because I live here. I can describe at least three New York City boroughs in voluminous detail without having to make things up. The heartrending love story that I was dying to place in Mongolia will be a lot more believable when I place it in Manhattan.

See what I mean?

How did HE get in here?
How did HE get in here?

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15 thoughts on “How to Write”

  1. For Bill Y, imaginary kids, imaginary sense of humour and imaginary salary is where it’s at!

    1. Uh, Bill … I have something to tell you.

      Your sense of humor is not imaginary. It’s real. And it’s hilarious. In fact, you set a standard of hilarity that I constantly strive to reach. 😀

      As for imagination, well, if it’s something in your head then it’s something you know about, because it’s there in your head, right? Right. So by writing about imaginary things that you have, yourself, thought up, you are writing what you know.

    1. Ah, damn! No wonder I was seeing so many unhappy Mongolians walking around.

    1. True, but if you write something you don’t know about, you have to actually do research, which means WORK — or hiring someone else to do your research, which means MONEY!

      I’m all for getting family members to do the research, but sometimes it’s all you can do to get them to read your work! 😉

      Of course, none of this applies to fantasy. If you are writing about things that only exist in your head, no research is needed and the knowledge is already there! 😉 😀

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