Writing what you know – Part three

Some people become slightly confused by the idea of writing what you know, particularly in the science fiction and fantasy genre. After all, these types of stories are fantastical and no one has ever really done the things that are mentioned in the story, such as traveling in time or experiencing a journey into another dimension and so on.

If this doesn’t interest you then the writing will seem a lot more like work. It should be a fun experience although obviously there is work involved in the editing and revision process, the research, and when you get stuck on a plot point or when you’re trying to flesh out a character or a scene.

You could also take the route of writing what’s trending at the moment in an attempt to create something popular. This doesn’t mean that you should copy something else that’s been successful but you might decide to emulate another author by writing about witches or wizards, vampire lovers, a dystopian universe, or something else that’s been a talking point in the last few years. Yet if you’re not interested in the topic it will be more of a struggle unless you can really turn your hand to anything and it’s always possible that your lack of enthusiasm will be evident when people read the finished product.

You might be able to conceal this to some degree by employing a good editor but you probably won’t enjoy the creative process. You’d probably also write a book about a subject that you love far more quickly and effectively, which might even encourage you to do even more writing. Most genre writers seem to stay in a particular genre although a few might diverge into different areas and this is usually for a reason. They write what they know and what they’re comfortable with and even if they do try something new for a change, it’s usually been their decision to do that and see what might happen.

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