Writing What I Know, a guest post by FT Lukens

One of the most uttered pieces of writing advice that is often passed onto emerging writers is to ‘write what you know.’ Everyone has heard that phrase at least once in a writing class or from an author they admire or on social media. While I don’t disagree with the statement, I do think that sometimes it is misinterpreted or taken too literally. And young writers might not realize that what they actually know extends beyond specific life experiences and situations.

Take SO THIS IS EVER AFTER as an example. It is a fantasy romantic comedy set in a castle with magic and politics and murderous fowl and a group of questors who don’t know the first thing about running a kingdom. And to be fair, I don’t know the first thing about running a kingdom. The only castle I’ve ever seen the inside of is Cinderella’s castle at Disney World. And I have never been cursed to wither away unless I find my soulmate within three months. If I took the literal interpretation of ‘writing what you know’ then this book wouldn’t exist.