Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What you KNOW or what you FEEL?

There is a famous writers adage: "Write what you know." I guess this is good if you are writing a text book. But if you are writing a novel you hope will connect and touch the reader on levels deeper than the cerebellum, then I think the proper advice should be "Write what you feel".

The difference is immense.

Knowledge of a subject can help flesh out details and create a beleivable world. On the other hand, PASSSION for a subject will pop on the page. It will glitter and spark and touch the reader. Any book, play or film created by an artist with a deep love for the subject will rise far above others of similar theme.

Say, for instance, you work as a bee keeper and you know everything there is to know about bee mating rituals and honey and combs and buzzing? BUT it does not set your heart aglow. Then consider a passion of this bee loving person- perhaps wine. They can wax poetic on the memories of certain bottles or the moments when they sipped a special bottle whiles kissing their love one. Or celebrating a special date. There are deep emotional connections to aspects of this passion. This is the writing that will resonate. It is guided by a muse. The words are not written or type to the page as much as they are poured upon with tears or laughter.

It is the felt aspect of the writer that will pulse on the page. Write what you feel. Always and forever.


  1. How very true! And you said it beautifully, Michael!

  2. Very nice post. Emotions have it over facts when one is writing fiction.