You've probably heard it said before to fiction authors - "Write what you know."
I have heard that. Probably 904389403 times total, in every class, course and conference I ever attended as an aspiring novelist. And to be honest, it was pretty depressing. When I first heard the rule, I thought "Great. Every novel I ever write is going to have to be about an author, a secretary, a wife or a mom." Because that's what I knew! That was my experience, per se, so...I thought that's all I had to work with. And while there's lots of potential in those categories, you can see how they could also dead end pretty quickly! Yikes.
Now, I get the gist behind the rule, but really, it's sort of backward. I think it makes a lot more sense to say instead - "know what you write".
You don't have to be an accountant to write about a character who is. You don't have to move to New York to set a story there. You don't have to become a celebrity yourself to write a novel from the point of view of an actress or famous singer. You don't have to be a fireman to write a story about one, or join the Army, or steal famous art from a museum to write about characters who did. (Please don't. Haha!)
But you DO have to do your research. Know what you're writing. Put effort into it so it is real to the reader. Don't assume you know, double check. Find out. Interview those who are/do what you need to learn about. For one thing, it's super fun, and it gives your story and writing a credibility and extra layer of relatability that otherwise will fall flat.
Totally worth the effort :)
So what are you currently researching for the sake of your story? Art? Music? Math? A certain time period? A particular sport? A day in the life of a famous person? Share in the comments :)