Write what you know or reseach it

Man, it’s been a while since I have posted anything on here. So let’s get to it shall we?

I remember reading a post from a writer on Twitter asking for help, because the main character in their story liked a beverage that they couldn’t stand, and they wanted input from people that did as to what they did like about it. Now I’m not dissing them for doing this, but I did think it odd that they (the writer) couldn’t simply have his/her character prefer a drink that they themselves liked. Why put yourself in a tight spot like that? Make it easier on yourself. For instance, don’t like orange juice? Describe how much the character likes apple juice then. Don’t like tea? Then use coffee.

This same viewpoint can be used on many other scenarios. Writing a sci-fi story but aren’t good in describing how the ship works? Well if you’re character isn’t the pilot or engineer, why should he/she care how it works? Now I’m not saying “Write like this! DO IT!” No far from it. All I’m saying is if you’re having a hard time getting past a certain scene in your story, there are ways around it.

Like the title says, write what you know. Unless the story calls for the main character to be some genius engineer, or computer whiz, there is no harm in tweaking them to fit into a role that is more comfortable for you, the writer, to write. For instance, I did some work as an HVAC tech for several years, and during that time picked up some of the lingo used on the jobs I was on. In my story Paulie, I used that to my advantage to make a character in it, sound like he knew what he was talking about.

Don’t be afraid to use what you know or picked up over the years and put it in your story. That way two things will happen.

1: You’ll flesh out the story a bit more, putting more detail into it and making the reader enjoy it all the more, as you’ll sound like you know what you’re talking about.

2: By putting your knowledge of certain topics, items etc, into your work, you are putting yourself into the story.

Now if you’re character uses a weapon or item that you have no knowledge on what so ever, then do some research. And before you say “Research? Pfff I’ll just wing it.” Do yourself a favor, don’t. Unless of course you want to get torn apart by some reader who takes their time reading through your story looking for the tiniest mistake?

Research will help you a lot. Even if it’s briefly, it’ll help.


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