Next to the reminder to 'show' rather than 'tell', it's probably the phrase that I've read most often in how-to books and on websites. I don't think there can be any question that writing about the subjects and situations you are familiar with enables your pen to move far more smoothly across the page - I can say that is certainly the case in journalism as well - but I was wondering how you get to this stage of comfort when you're writing for the historical or supernatural genres, for example?
Is it simply down to including a level of detail that leaves a reader in no doubt that you clearly know your subject matter inside out? Or is it all about your own level of confidence? After all, with situations that we're familiar with, we tend to know when less is more... Does the same apply here?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!