The Incorrigible Harriet Dumont

”Writing what you know”

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Two nice and complementary quotes on the cliché of ”writing what you know”:

”Bad books on writing tell you to ‘WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW’, a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery.” / Joe Haldeman

”As for ‘Write what you know,’ I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.” / Ursula K Le Guin

(As to the second quote, of course, if you find yourself wanting to assume anything about me based on what I write, assume that I know how to turn into a mermaid, that I can coax wind sprites into the sails and that I roast the hearts of my enemies over a slow fire.)

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