Some time ago I had an article published in The New Writer with the title of this post. Write what you know is something I’ve read a million times - okay maybe just a little exaggeration there, but it’s a common enough piece of advice.
I’ve been asked more than a few times if I use people I know as characters. The answer is an emphatic ‘No’. I’ve not used myself as a character either. However, I have used elements of things I know about in my writing. In Driftwood, Juliet’s job is similar to work I used to do, the settings are places I am familiar with, but the rest is my imagination.
Definitely we should use what we know as a starting point. Our work, where we live, places we’ve visited, all these may seem humdrum and ordinary, but to someone living in another country they will be a doorway into another world, and isn’t that what we want when we read.