Courtesy Creative Commons
Okay, people here is another wide-open topic that begs the question, what kind of novel are you writing. If an author went all out with wanting to experience first-hand the kind of things that they would be writing about, it could hold serious consequences.
Let’s look at this a moment. If you were writing about romance or erotica and are in a serious, committed relationship, you could be in trouble with your significant other in many ways, not to mention perhaps significant medical problems in today’s times.
If you were writing about murder, you certainly wouldn’t want to be the villain to experience what it feels like to kill another. It would be very unlikely you could also take the role of the detective or police to help solve the crime unless you are retired from that profession, or know someone in the force and could arrange a ride-along to get the feel for police business.
It is almost impossible to put yourself in the spot of a western these days unless by galloping out in the country on a horse and spending the night under the stars would inspire and give you enough of a feel for what the real cowboy was up against in days gone by.
I think we can all forget about experiencing sci-fi first hand. This pretty much goes for fantasy too, unless you happen to be writing about knights and sword battles. You can experience this by taking a fencing class, which is what I did for a sequel I’m writing for one of my books. Of course, this was nothing like wielding a broad sword in full armor, but it did give me a feel for what it was like to have an opponent coming at you with a sword when you had to defend yourself.
I will have to say I was not good at this. I definitely would find myself laid out in the courtyard straightaway had this been for real. But between that and attending a few medieval fairs, where I watched the jousting tournaments and talked with some of the die-hards, I had a good feel for the battle scene I wanted to write.
I really would like to hear your ideas for putting yourself into the action in order to write better.