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Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Experiencing What You Write About

“Write what you know,” is repeated nearly as much as, “Show, don’t tell.” Yet for some authors, especially those who write speculative fiction, this can be difficult or even impossible. However, I recently had opportunity to experience the advantage of firsthand knowledge.

One of my as yet unpublished fantasy novels takes place in a region in the far north, complete with mountains and coniferous forest. In my life, I had never seen either. Naturally, I’d researched and seen pictures, but neither quite does the real thing justice. Since traveling through Oregon, I now have a much better idea of mountains adorned with pines than ever before.

Here’s one of the pictures I took. At 70 miles per hour, it was difficult to capture the true beauty and majesty of the forest, but I tried.



While a writer can achieve great success without firsthand knowledge of a region—Jim Butcher’s early DresdenFiles books are a prime example—if an author can gain that experience, it’s extremely useful.

4 comments:

  1. Ohh! Hope you are enjoying your trip/vacation/etc.!

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    1. Less of a vacation, more of a trip, but yes, I'm enjoying. Thanks!

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  2. The picture is beautiful. That is some awesome country out there.

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    1. Oh, yes. The views blew me away. I only wish I'd had time to stop and really savor it all and get better pictures. :)

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