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Write what you know

Amy Leibowitz own voices representation sensitivity writing

It's one of the oldest and most common pieces of writerly wisdom: Write what you know.

At a glance, it seems easy to pooh-pooh. After all, science fiction writers have (presumably) never met an alien from the planet Zork, and to my knowledge, no one has personal experience becoming a werewolf. In real-world terms, everyone writes things outside their own lives, even if it's only the main character's age or career or home town.

On the other hand, there's something to that when it comes to certain things, particularly the emotions that ride...

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Histories of Our Own

Amy Leibowitz historical fiction memoir writing

This month, we've been focusing on historical fiction. Today, I'm talking about a different kind of history: our own.

Most people probably have an idea of what "historical" means. The word often conjures images of times long past. We might now think of the mid-20th century as history, since it's more than fifty years gone. We might even think of the 1970s, 80s, or 90s as history because they're part of the last century. We may think of history in terms of large-scale events such as wars or national crises.

Note what all...

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