Writing new things often requires a significant amount of research. That is if I want to convince my readers that I know what I’m talking about (which I do). But thanks to some of the interests I’ve pursued, adventures I’ve had, and jobs I’ve worked, there are a few things I understand well enough I won’t have to research them.
- Movie Theaters – My job for the last two years of high school was at the movie theater tucked behind the mall. I started at the concession stand and then learned to clean theaters after each show. From the yellow-orange sludge (aka unmelted butter) to the time Damien from The Omen watched me clean a theater, there are plenty of stories I could tell. So I’m all set if I ever write a story set at a movie theater.
- Women’s College – I earned my BA from a small liberal arts college that’s been around since before the American Civil War. It also happened to be a program that only accepted women. The female-only undergraduate program led to amazing friendships between women and a huge sense of female empowerment. Plus witnessing the general reaction to college age men on campus is something I needed to be a part of to understand.
- Plymouth Waterfront – The only traditional full-time job I’ve held was located only a block away from Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II. I could walk out the door and see Plymouth Harbor if I look to my left. More than once, I headed down on a day off just to explore Burial Hill (where some Pilgrims are buried) and to visit the souvenir shops that only opened in the summer. I still need to go on a ghost tour before I move, but I already have a lay of the land to base a setting on it.
- Town Government Meetings – Working as a stringer for a local newspaper means I spend a couple nights a month sitting-in on local town government and school committee meetings. That’s taught me how to listen for quotes and write up the happenings for a newspaper. On the other end, it’s taught me how those meetings work along with what is (or isn’t) actually accomplished. I already have a story in the pipeline that utilizes these experiences.
Have you experienced anything that you can use in your writing? Or is there something that you’re excited to research?