Monday, December 3, 2012

The World Around You

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I know my post is late but life sometimes interrupts the normal flow of things, eh? As the title of this post suggests, today's topic is The World Around You. How does this pertain to writing? Well, grab those pens and notebooks and let's discuss, shall we?

Writers are students of human nature. If you're a follower of my blog, you know I did a whole week's worth of posts on this very topic last month. But we must also be students of everything else. That's right, everything else.

In order to create great fiction, you must base it in fact. If you're talking about a specific type of gun someone has stuck in the waistband of his pants, you probably don't want to say it's a shotgun or tommy-gun because either of these would be too large. You need to know at least a little bit about guns. Do some research, ask a professional hit man, or Google it. Your readers will thank you later.

If you're wanting to write an entire series of novels based around a specific topic, such as a herd of horses or unicorns from the horse's POV, you need to learn everything you can about the subject. In this case, you'd may want research:
  • How to train a horse
  • Horse behavior patterns
  • Where horses originated
  • What they eat
  • How they're born
  • Common colors
  • Gestation periods
  • and any other interesting tidbits you may decide to throw into your story.
This applies to every facet of every story you write. Immerse yourself in the how, what, why, and where of each subject. Yes, even if you're writing fantasy.

If you delve into the human mind in your writing you should have a good basis for your deep understanding of human nature. Take a psychology class or spend time with lots of people and watch how they interact with one another. You'll learn a lot and your writing will be better for it. Things to take note of:
  • Vernacular
  • Body Positioning
  • Facial Expressions
  • Your Own Reactions
  • Outcome
  • Voice Inflections
  • Attire
When you're doing research online you should keep a link list. Give it the same title of your novel and add _Research_LinkList to the end before saving it in your folder. I stress this point because everything we read stays with us and you don't want to be plagiarizing in your novel.

Like I always say, the best fiction comes from fact. Even if you twist it to fit your own story, it's based in something real.

Always observe the world around you and be the constant student. Writers are the best learners.

What have you learned through observation or research lately?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

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