Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Have you assessed your skills?
I’m still waiting…
Are you done?
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: What did you write?
What did you write? Maybe you’re like me and included items about your vocation, a hobby, or something that you’ve studied. Maybe you listed something else…that’s alright too. Everyone of us has a large knowledge base. The problem with most of us is that we don’t assess and utilize the vast amount of knowledge that we already possess.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Why is assessing your knowledge base important?
Every writer needs to know his subject matter or his stories will be artificial and sterile. If a story needs specialized knowledge that the writer doesn’t possess he needs to research his subject until he acquires that knowledge.
Using present knowledge or obtaining knowledge are two critical keys to successful writing, but mere knowledge cannot carry a story. You may not know this, but you have many special areas of expertise that are useful…even necessary to develop your writing skills.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Expand your list to three columns.
The first column we’ll title “General Knowledge.” This is the column we write general facts. Things that you know such as: hammering a nail, driving a car, driving a bus, riding a motorcycle, wrestling an alligator, etc.
The second column we’ll title “Locality Knowledge.” This column includes places you’ve been. Places like: your home-town; your house; the Arkansas River; Paris, France; Gotebo, Oklahoma; an ocean liner; a mountain top; etc.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Write what you know.
I’ve heard the phrase “write what you know” hundreds of times, but little did I comprehend its full implication. Let me explain. Readers read fiction to be entertained. They want to feel like they’re part of the story. How does a writer draw the reader into the story? By emotionally involving the reader. Now, let’s get back to your list again.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Impressions
Let’s label the third column: “Impressions.” This column might include information like: feeling the sensation of wind blowing through your hair as you ride your Harley eighty miles-per-hour down the highway; or experiencing the horror of feeling a large bug shoot into your mouth at eighty miles-per-hour, lodging halfway down your throat, and all you can do is gag and swallow.
Do you remember the taste?
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Other Impressions
Have you split your pants in a restaurant? How did you handle the embarrassment? Were you raised in a family of fourteen in a house with only one bathroom? Were you bent over in excruciating pain while you waited for your sibling to vacate the bathroom?
Do you know the devastating emptiness of losing a child? Have you been humiliated by others? Have you been singled out for punishment? How did you feel?
These emotionally charged situations add personality and excitement to your writing. Recall the emotions, tastes, sounds, and other sensations. Write them down. Learn how to best express them.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Don’t Waste
Don’t waste the vast amount of knowledge you already possess. Use it and transfer it into your stories.
Your Knowledge Base is Key to Great Writing: Conclusion
Writing what you know involves more than just facts. It includes an emotional investment in your writing. Write what you emotionally know, and you will enhance your reader’s enjoyment.
Copyright 2010 J-me
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