Thanks for this post, Drew. Good advice reminding me I have to get up from my writing desk and out of my comfort zone and go and do stuff. I admire Tara Moss, an Australian crime writer, who has done what you have suggested. She has undertaken a Private Investigator course and engaged in all manner of risk taking pursuits to expand her life experience in order to bring realism to her writing.
I’ve bloggedat length about how a writer’s life experience can improve their fiction, but I haven’t written on how the reverse is true, how fantasy can improve a writer’s reality. If the responsibility of writing weighs you down use it as an excuse to go outside and do something.
A Life Worth Commenting On
In screenwriting class our professor had us keep a journal, a place to document our fears. It was not a diary. It was a tool for scene building, a method for adding authenticity to atmospheric descriptions. We were to venture into unknown territory and write about it, to find a place that put us on edge, where the adrenaline heightened our senses, so we could chronicle everything we felt.
Turns out a lesbian bar wasn’t that far outside of my comfort zone, not because I was leering at the ladies, but because they seemed fine…
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