Some people say “write what you know” and others say “write what you don’t know.” Well, which is it?
Depending on your genre and the amount of common sense you have, I think you should use your own judgement with that one.
I’ll use myself as an example (that means I’m writing about “what I know”).
In the past month I’ve been working on two novels. Both novels are the first book in a series. One novel, Hunter, is fantasy. The other, George Florence, is mystery.
Big genre difference, right?
Exactly. So I need to research different things for each novel.
As I write, I use the sticky notes app on my laptop and keep a list of editing notes; things I need to look up, chapters I feel are stupid and need to be taken out or changed, etc.
I keep this list because the point of the first draft is to get the idea down on paper.
With that being said, if I come across something I don’t know or something that I believe is inaccurate, I put it in bold. I make it up and bold it so that when I read through the draft I remember that I need to fix it.
Those “fixes” need research. And as I said before, each genre is different.
For Hunter, I kept a list that includes:
–Research all mutant powers: technical terms, what they do and how they work, etc. (including teleportation, electricity, flying, animal shape shifting…) –Research tasers
–Research gunshots to various areas of the body