When I went to college I had about 530 credits when I graduated. The reason was because I took so many different classes, such as the history of science fiction, physical anatomy, musical theater class, sailing, horseback riding, how to write the novel, plus a full load of courses within a double major of music and English!
Nobody was as curious as me. I was interested in everything and I had a keen hunger for knowledge!
One take away I got from my English class, from my celebrated professor, Prof.Terry Davis, was that one should write about what they know about.
I tried writing a bad fictional account of a speakeasy in the Roaring Twenties, with hackneyed characters and I was rightfully criticized.
Then I wrote a story about being teased by my sister, when I was growing up in Toronto taking the ferry to Centre Island. The professor gave me encouraging praise after reading my true account.
I also wrote a factual story about an elderly family member who didn’t want to have to pay for a plot, so he buried his deceased wife himself, in an undisclosed secluded spot, in the country .
I titled the story, A decent burial.
The maxim is true, write about what you know.
I watched a travel show about the Orient Express last night. I found out why Agatha Christie was inspired to write the story, Murder on the Orient Express. It was because of the actual incident where a person was found murdered on the train while she was traveling from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient Express. She was one of those disgruntled passengers who was stranded on the train in the snow bank, and had to wait for days until the train had to be dug out to continue on to their destination.
Often the best writing is born from suffering, and also from real life experience!