As authors or writers, you are entitled to get thy crown called “Someone-who-knows-better-stuff” yes! You are looked upon for your knowledge and the difference you have created to distinguish yourself from the crowd. It takes enough knowledge on the subject, before you could get to the nitty-gritty of it. Of course, to publish a novel, you should have enough knowledge about things you are handling in the book. So, this post is about knowledge on the subject.
A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge – Hemingway
Start with what you know:
If you start on reading and acquiring knowledge, you might never start your novel. Start writing and let the flow guide you to chapters where you need to go out of your way to understand a concept to write. Don’t start your research with your high level concept.
This hit me hard when I started researching with the high concept of my novel – OMR (Old Mystery Road) that is based on astrology. I started reading books on astrology, and it led me nowhere. I now chucked the very idea of researching with the high concept, and started penning it down to get to the chapter where the research is actually required.
Try reaching out to people, either travel to places or talk to those who have travelled to places provided they are expressive enough. It just takes a small talk that would spark an idea. Most of my novel ideas are from my day to day life. My next novella ‘who is this?’ was fleshed out with a small incident that happened, though the storyline and what happened to me is entirely different. It is about the striking lines, I wanted more information and hence, I spoke to my friends and circulated a small questionnaire which came back with enticing answers that added the necessary meat for my novel. Go through my previous post on Journals that would help you to remember stuff
You will never know where the information would reside, so get to know the places you can reach out to. I had to write a technical post for one of my client, where Google didn’t answer enough. My post was not great, something sparked and I clicked Naukri to get the job descriptions of those who are working on that technology and I was able to finish the post wholeheartedly.
Google might not really answer, but other sites like even Youtube or Pinterest might answer.
Be an extrovert
I was a thorough Introvert, and I was proud that I was one. Never in my life had I thought, I would ever speak out or post a status on Facebook that would lead to a debate, but now I did. I started talking, reaching out to people, trying to put myself in different shoes. Being an introvert might not let you to talk to a stranger. If you want something – go get it.
Read different books when you are free, but read books that fall under your genre and that has similar storyline to yours when you are writing your novel. The best ever place to find this is at goodreads and the list. Ensure you spend more time on goodreads, I love spending my time surfing book out there, watching their covers, reading the blurb, fishing the availability of books, etc.. than to do anything else*
Meet people – Read them
Watch people and their body language, categorize people mentally. Find how what goes behind their behaviour – the culture, the environment, family, schooling, some terrible incidents that changed them. It can be just anything!
There is nothing like reaching out to people, read the details out of a book, watching movies or video clips based on the key interest. Backpack and get out of your comfort zone.