After writing for many years I have discovered the joy in writing what you know as well as the excitement of writing what you don’t know.
One requires carefulness to make what you know interesting and compelling and fun or described clearly enough because it is so familiar.
Conversely, writing what you do not know requires research and learning and stretching and question asking.
Both are ever so fun. I think, as a writer, you should stretch yourself to do both. They require completely different skills; which is always good for an artist to develop their skills in every possible way.
Sometimes when I read a book and come to an event passage, I wonder if that happened to the author or someone they knew, if they had heard something like it from someone, or if they created it out of study and imagination. It is a fun exercise because it makes you wonder and ponder instead of just reading the black ink on the white paper.
The other day I was driving home on a two lane, one way street. Just ahead of me was a large pickup truck stopped at a 4-way stop. Beside the truck was a maroon SUV. They both took off from the stop sign at roughly the same time, but the SUV made a left hand turn from the right lane of a one way street directly in front of the truck. He slammed on his brakes, but could not miss her. He gave a large dent to her rear door. The lady pulled forward and over to the side of the street (which was, coincidentally, in front of the police station) and the gentleman in the truck pulled up behind her. I decided to turn left to see if the man in the truck felt like he needed a witness, I’d be happy to wait. Clearly, the police were not going to be long.
I rolled down my passenger side window and asked him if he needed me to wait. He said, “No, I think it will be fine, but I have a much larger problem!”
“What?” I asked wondering what in the world could be so serious.
“I’m in my boxer shorts,” was his answer.
I waved goodbye and drove off roaring with laughter!
Then I set about creating the dialogue that would take place between him and his wife when he arrived home.
Taken from life.
I’ll worry about researching something I don’t know another day. Right now I have enough stuff happening on a daily life to fill my pages with events and life and fun.
Keep on writing,