Writing what I don’t know

So as I explore in this new book, I find myself in both highly familiar areas, and some that are different to me. I know IT, the ins and outs, and the personality types that are involved. I see it day in and day out. I’d say roughly 75% of the IT things (and office things) in the new book come from personal experience. ¬†But some, the thriller parts, the law enforcement, the legal parts, those parts I don’t know.

Now, for those who don’t know me (which is probably everyone reading this.) When I don’t know about something, I am a researcher to the extreme. I read everything I can on the subject, I ¬†pretty much drown myself in data for a day, days, or even a week or two. Then go from there. I even read an abridged FBI interrogation techniques manual for this new book. But that’s only half of it, at least in my process.

The other half is to find good fiction in the same basic genre, and read it. Not to steal ideas not to copy, but to see how other’s have handled their pacing, their background building. To make it believable and livable. I take notes, and take the data I have, and seeing how it’s paced in others stories, helps e make it ‘real’ for the reader. The ultimate goal in any story (and least the ones I write) is that I want the reader to ‘be there.’

Back in the distant past, I did a lot of theater stuff. I always remember an acting coach pushing me hard to ‘do not show.’ It’s the same with writing for me. I can put on a show, but does the reader get involved? Can I take that reader and have them feel along with the story. I want them to be not only an observer, but to be linked to the characters.

It’s not easy. It’s not easy in acting, and it’s not easy in writing.

Writing what I don’t know is one hell of a challenge.

 

But damn it’s fun when it works!

Joshua
Father, Husband, IT Manager, and author. Currently Working on Bridgefinders, a modern day fantasy novel.