I’ve been going back and reviewing fiction I wrote a few years ago. If you’re into writing at some point you’ve heard, “Write what you know.” Even in the Anne of Green Gables series Gilbert tells Anne to write what she knows instead of “high falutin’ mumbo jumbo”.
I’m not sure I really understood this until now but as I look back on my writing I see when I’ve made up stuff entirely it’s not very interesting. But when I take snippets of conversations and experiences and then add to it, I really enjoy reading the story.
I did a lot of this in the story Facebook Times I posted recently.
The part about the pope came from a recent mass reading.
Someone I knew had a baby shower where the gender of the baby was revealed.
A friend of mine did have a picture of us from a long time ago as her computer background. Her grandmother recently passed away and a few years go our other friend passed away suddenly. So two people were missing from the picture.
Five years ago I was seeing a guy who took me golfing. The demise of what seemed like a promising relationship unfolded on the golf course that day. I wrote a short story about that. And as I reread this story for the first time in years, I found it so detailed. More than some of my other stories. It also had a clear beginning and ending.
Obviously there is a danger in revealing stuff about other people and I want to be careful, but hopefully with a little time and practice I will be able to do this subtly. So there you have it…write what you know.