Writing What We Know

Its been said over and over again, that writers should write what they know. I do that everyday. But, I am also influenced by other writers. If I am reading a favorite author ideas of my own creep up inside me and I have to jot them down. I also admire other authors works because of the creativity that had been put into their story. When I saw an interview with Stephen King, I couldn’t believe that a lot of his stories stemmed from dreadful periods in his life. On the other hand, you have writers who tell a story from some true incident that actually happened. But, I am sure they changed the names to protect the innocent.

Do you write what you know? What author sparks your creativity? I read a blog that covers what authors were most influential to her. Check out 12Most.com. The article “12 Most Comprehensive Writing Insights From Famous Authors.” I thought his insight on a select few authors and how they inspired her was interesting.

English: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait...

English: Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, seated, facing right, with right hand under chin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12 Most Comprehensive Writing Insights from Famous Authors

Posted by  on Oct 9, 2012 

  • As a writer, can you trace your roots? Just like musicians, we are influenced by the works of others. How much of your mentors do you see in your own writing?

The following are 12 lessons in writing I learned from my favorite authors.

1. Victor Hugo

Writing was a different type of gig when Hugo was alive. Authors salaries were dependant on length, which may explain why some classics come in at over a 1,000 pages. This could be why Hugo meanders through “Les Miserables” — an excuse to add his personal thoughts on Waterloo, religion, and slang.

2. Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

Doyle published several short Sherlock Holmes stories in Strand Magazine. The serials were then collected into novels. This approach feels very similar to what I do as a blogger every day. Publishing tid bits of knowledge that can later be collected into anthologies.

3. Judy Blume

Reading “Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great” was the first time I saw a tom boy in literature. Blume’s books spoke to young girls about their fears associated with being teenagers. The young adult market is a big deal and one of the most lucrative for new authors.

4. F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love and despise “The Great Gatsby.” The characters are deeply flawed but the story is well written. A good writer can craft an enduring tale that is not dependant on our attitudes towards the main characters or themes. Read more here.


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