Friday, 31 August 2012

Not smart enough to write about that.

My friend Kelsey recently posted one of her Friday Five posts and something she wrote in there had me thinking.

And I quote: 2. I don't really advertise my age online, but it's pretty obvious that I'm a young one. Anyway, growing up in a conservative home, I didn't get to actually experience a lot of the things I put into my books. What things, you ask? Well, I'm not going to give you examples, because what you're imagining is probably so much more fun. Back to the point. Lately I've gone out into the world to experience some of those mysterious activities. Partly because I was curious, and partly because I wanted to see if what I was writing was accurate. And I found that it was. So if you're a writer and you think you have to stick to what you know like so many say... you really don't.
It got me thinking. So many times I'll think of ideas for books, something new and innovative (as per me) but I quickly brush away the idea because I'm sure I'm too dumb to write about it. Not smart enough. Not knowledgable enough. The amount of research involved would be astounding and even then, I don't think I could write about what I don't know convincingly.

So, I stick with what's comfortable, with what I know. The result? There's always something missing from my stories. The plot is good and the characters are likable but.. in the end, there's a certain je ne sais quoi missing.

I know I'm not stupid, but I also know my limits. So, what to do about this? What would you do? How about your writing? Do you stick with what you know, or do you wing it and hope for the best? How much is research, how much is imagination?

Tanya :)


  1. I wing everything. ^_^ Usually my writing ideas come from stuff that I know about, though, so it's not really a problem. Though I do run into delays where I feel like I have to try and verify some tiny little detail that isn't at all relevant to the plot, like what Swiss newspapers were in circulation in 1799, or what colour an alpenrose is.

  2. Aw, you quoted me. I feel special :) And I actually think your writing is exciting and not at all lacking, girly.

  3. You should not stop yourself from writing what you want to write about for reasons like that Tanya! That's why you have a team of people reading your stuff before it's published, you can make mistakes.. We will help you if something doesn't make sense! I think you should write about anything you want anyway you can always research after if people notice some mistakes...