Thursday, 4 February 2010
Where writers create problems for themselves is when they try to invent distinctive characters.
Although I don't agree that a writer should only write what they know, if you're going to create a character that's a geek, you, the writer, should at least know what HTML stands for or be willing to Google it. (If you do not know what 'Google' is, don't go down the geek path. In fact, the word 'geek' is probably going over your head right now...)
Why? Because you know there's a geek out there reading your book and saying, 'you can't do that.' Or what kind of coding is this?
What if you're really an experienced writer, what if you've never been out of the state or province you were born in? What if you want one of your characters to speak Punjabi? Does that mean you're stuck?
Nah, just joking.
But, you need to be willing to research. And, if you truly know little about a certain subject, don't throw in details that you can't backup.
In my latest book, my detectives go to a house and meet a man who draws Anime. I don't know why I chose that hobby but I don't know much about it. What did I do? I went to the library and I search on Google and learned as much as I could about the subject. And then, I hardly mentioned it at all in the book other than he painted anime floor to ceiling in his living room and that the girl drawn had large eyes in proportion to her head.
Why do I go through all the effort?
1) I want an accurate book.
2) I am a lot smarter now than a fifth grader. Well, almost.
The point: If you don't know and don't research - don't write!
Oh, and please, if you haven't done so already, submit something funny to the contest. I would love to award someone $50 worth of books for their trouble.
Here's a joke my son told me... (this is an example of what I'm looking for)
Question: What's brown and sticky?
Answer: A stick.
That wasn't so hard.