by Taffy Cannon
The old adage to write what you know is only useful if what you know happens to be interesting, or if your style is so original and provocative that you could make hedge clipper instructions scintillating. And if you write fiction, you’re making it up anyway, aren’t you?
Well, yes. But sooner or later, your fiction is going to lead you into areas that you don’t know much about. Medieval carpentry, say, or dung beetles. Research is required.
Most likely this will be a subject that you have a strong personal interest in, so you’ll plunge headlong into that research. You’ll bury yourself in the library, spend hours online, talk to specialists in the field, hunt down obscure references, visit laboratories, conduct experiments. Each step is likely to suggest more avenues to explore, and before long, you’ll discover that you know a staggering amount about the…
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