Writing About What You Know

 We have all heard the adage that a writer should write about what they know. I have always felt like the saying should be altered to say: "Write about what intrigues you". However, for the latest story I have been working on I have taken the advice to write what you know to heart when I am writing the setting for this new Urban Fantasy. I thought I would introduce you to a few of the settings I have been dreaming about so often lately. 


The beginning of my story takes place in my beloved home city, Melbourne. I have travelled to many places and I have never quite found a place like it. I feel like this part of the story is a love letter to the gardens, buildings and people of the city; the kind-heartedness of the locals, the safety you feel when walking around. Writing about a place I love and miss made beginning the story so much easier for me. 

The Mountains

Just outside Melbourne you will find winding, forested mountains. My grandparents lived there and I always loved visiting. There is something about the mountain air that refreshes me, washing away the air and stress from the city. Much of my story takes place in a fictionalised version of the mountain township my grandparents lived in. As I write I can smell the leaf litter and snow on the air. I never thought I would add such a personal place to my stories, but it has been a really lovely experience. 

Bars and Pubs

My husband used to be in a band, so throughout the past decade or so I have visited many of Melbourne's music venues, from the sticky-floored band rooms out the back, to the sticky-floored bars out the front. I have sat on bar stools, crates, broken and torn lounges across so many dimly lit bars that I simply had to have a scene that took place at a gig. This scene was not originally part of my original plot outline, and once it was written it completely changed the trajectory of the story. I am so glad I went with my gut on this one, and it was great to be able to write an amalgamation of all the hours I have spent watching noisy bands I know nothing about. 

So, tell me. Do you enjoy reading about real places that the author obviously loves, or would you rather read about new places that spring out of the author's imagination? I think I like a little bit of both.


Popular Posts