Mostly True Memoirs

Writing Tip

A question writers often ask is, “Do I have to limit myself to writing what I know?”

The answer is NO.

Writing is creative.

Stretch your mind and write on any topic you choose.

But be careful.

Your manuscript might get passed if your story doesn’t make sense.

I recently read a manuscript where the main character was a painter.

The author wrote about chiaroscuro.

But she clearly didn’t understand the notion of this artistic concept.

And she didn’t even spell it right.

I read another manuscript with Jewish characters.

But this author clearly didn’t understand Yiddish slang.

Words like “kvetch,” “schlock,” and “schmutz” were used completely out of context.

I started to binge-watch a popular Netflix series, but I had to quit.

The main character’s backstory is that he was a baseball phenom in high school.

However, there was a batting cage scene with the actor in a ridiculous batting stance.

A phenom should know how to position himself at the plate.

How in the world did this scene pass a technical edit?

I quit watching the show.

I quit watching that actor.

I’ll never get that goofy batting stance image out of my head.

The bottom line is that it’s OK to write about an unfamiliar topic.

But do your research.

Or your manuscript will get passed.

Or worse, it will get produced, and then it will become a laughingstock.

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