Oftentimes it's hard to distinguish an author's experiences from those portrayed in their writing. Storylines and characters run parallel to a writer's world and we find ourselves sometimes trying to map bits and pieces back to their real life counterparts. Well, they do
say "write what you know".
LitKicks member Tulate
recently offered this up for consideration:
"John Lennon swore up and down that he wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds about a drawing his son made in school. Meanwhile, I think I recall that UCLA actually offered a course interpreting the song which everyone assumed was a reference to John's LSD use.
Lennon knew about LSD first hand and could certainly write a song about it if he so chose. I'm sure writers with no drug experience have written about acid trips too.
For a piece to be riveting, full of gut wrenching imagery, able to evoke deep emotion -- does the writer need first hand experience? Or is reality over-rated? Does the fiction writer using good research, vivid imagination and poetic license get higher marks than the guy who's actually been there and done that and is now writing fiction adorning factual accounts with beautiful, moving and precise words?"