I'm only writing this because I just HAD to get it out, especially since my professor had spoken of an very interesting writing experiment that happened to her in her undergrad days. Her creative writings professor had the entire class take out a piece of paper and write down on it the worse thing that has ever happened to you--this would remain private mind you, and they did remain private. The next class, he had divided everyone into two different sections--those that didn't have it as bad, and those that went through some pretty serious stuff. Then he posed the question:
What is the best kind of writer in general?
And sure enough chaos ensued as a result of the debatical.
Yet I've been reading and coming across posts and books and whatnot that really does pertains to the question of--who's the best to write x story? Does it come down to...research? Imagination? First hand experiences? Or what? Exactly what does one need in order to write something without falling flat on your face in the process with those that have actually lived through it? Or those that are rather knowledgeable about x geography or x area of expertise.
There are many factors that contribute to this.
Sure, those with experiences first hand will be able to write said story better than those that have never experienced it. Like for me...I'm hearing impaired, and I can't say how many times I've been asked how it works, how much can I hear, can I do sign language, can you read lips, are you deaf?--the list goes on and on...I've heard all of them at least one time or repeatedly, both the bad and the good. So yeah, I'll have more of an advantage over someone that isn't hearing impaired or deaf, or has not experienced a hearing loss. But lots of research and getting to know the systematics and talking and befriending those that live with it, can certainly open your mind to the possibilities and provide insight into a world that you've never been a part of before.
Doing a story in a different part of the world? Use maps to get the geographical aspects right. Especially when you may have a reader that lives there, going "well that place isn't located there but in x blocks further" or something of the sort. Or even historically-wise, research deep and well about the subject to reassure your history buffs that you're not just writing because the time period is "cool". Nothing more of a fail when you include a certain kind of clothing style in the wrong time period (unless there's a specific reason behind it, like time-travel or something).
I could go on and on about this, and there's many examples, I'm sure, that are out there that when you read and you're scratching your head wondering, "....did they really do their research?"
Now back to my essays, hence cutting this short, sorry. >_<;