We hear this often, but what does it really mean? It certainly doesn’t mean you can’t write thing outside your realm of personal experience (though things you relate to personally will be stronger stories for you). What it means is you should write things you understand. No, that doesn’t mean no fantasy or sci-fi.
The genre I write most in is historical fantasy. I love dragons, faeries, knights, princesses, kings… etc. For me “write what you know” means taking my degree in history and my understanding of real-world medieval history and applying it. My characters most often will use proper weapons for the time period, have views at least somewhat appropriate to the time period, wear clothing that fits the time period… getting my drift? It also means I’ll never write a medieval romance about Scotland where the men wear kilts (yep, they were a Renaissance invention).
I’ve always felt…
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