How to write about something i have never experience?

#1
Hi...

I'm an aspiring writer but I haven't been writing in months. Recently, I have this story idea rolling around in the back head but I am hesitant to go for it as it's would be about something I know nothing about except surface knowledge. I really like the idea but I'm bit of a perfectionist and I would go crazy if it do not turn out how i want it to. So should i take the chance or give it up. 

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#2
To Google with you!
...no, really. In years past I would have said library, but the internet at this point is just a giant library you don't have to go outside for.
If it's something regarding a person or people, or experiences certain humans have, ask around in forums and see if one of those humans will share thoughts and feelings with you.
If it's something historical or technical, read through the Wikipedia article, then scroll to the bottom and look through all the references listed for more stuff on the subject. Ask here, or on other forums, for explanation on details you don't fully understand. There's always one expert on an obscure topic who would be THRILLED that you ask.
But yeah, always take the chance! Learning new stuff is always good, and even if you fail you'll be a smarter person for it.
Good luck! DrakanWine

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#5

Worthy Wrote: What if it's not historically based but modern urban? As well as about a different culture or mixed culture?
Also self biographies, just more recent ones. You also don't need to look at modern events to gain some insights in multicultural societies. Those have always been a thing, all over the world, albeit often in different ways. Generally speaking, just looking at the local library content in my local library, many of the self biographies on the shelves are from first generation refugees. Lots of integration stuff. I'm sure you can find whatever you're looking for, ask the communities you'd want to write about for reading recommendations. 

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#6
Youtube is an incredible resource. 
There are millions of people on there talking about their personal experiences in depth. Chances are there's someone talking about an experience similar to the one you didn't have. 
Like, there's one Youtuber who escaped North Korea and her whole channel is basically just about what it was like to live under a dictatorship, what it was like to escape and then acclimate to a new life in America. Just tons and tons of content expanding on that particular subject--and there's a version of her for just about anything you could think of on there. 

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#7
Eat up every last drop of information about the topic as you possibly can.

When you are full, then keep eating until you've eaten at least five times as much information that you just did.

Then you will be ready to write it.

Books, videos, movies, shows, news reports, personal stories (Go on reddit and you'd find a ton,) scientific documents. Every last bit of information that you can find you take.

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#8
Bit of a cop-out, buuuut.... if you really want to write it, but can't convince yourself you've learned enough about the subject, you could always file the serial numbers off and do a sci-fi or fantasy version of something that's pretty similar but won't be close enough to bug you if you get the details wrong.

Dunno if I'd recommend it, honestly; it has advantages, but it's also got it's own challenges. Oftentimes it's the details that give something - anything - realism, and if those are missed in the research process, it'll be difficult to invent them in a creative process.

On the other hand, it does allow a bit of distance from the subject itself; if there's something specific to focus the story on, it can be tweaked to highlight it more easily, and details that only distract instead of helping can be dropped.

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#12

Tonya Wrote: Hi...

I'm an aspiring writer but I haven't been writing in months. Recently, I have this story idea rolling around in the back head but I am hesitant to go for it as it's would be about something I know nothing about except surface knowledge. I really like the idea but I'm bit of a perfectionist and I would go crazy if it do not turn out how i want it to. So should i take the chance or give it up.


Research. Go and find the topic and read/watch lots of stuff on it. The internet is a massive resource full of the most in depth dives into even the most random and obscure stuff. Culture, work, hobbies, myths, ect. If you don't know, learn. Just be sure to cross reference sources of information to see if someone is also making up nonsense...cus it's still the internet.

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#16

Tonya Wrote: Hi...

I'm an aspiring writer but I haven't been writing in months. Recently, I have this story idea rolling around in the back head but I am hesitant to go for it as it's would be about something I know nothing about except surface knowledge. I really like the idea but I'm bit of a perfectionist and I would go crazy if it do not turn out how i want it to. So should i take the chance or give it up.


Research, read, just like most users already told you, even going to Reddit/other forums to get the information you need. But also, I highly recommend you to turn off your perfectionism. I'm one of those too, but as far as I see it, it is such a "unique thing" for everyone that it makes everything an impossible task! What is "perfect" for you, perhaps it is not for others.

You can do it >3 work that idea and make it possible.



Sake Wrote: is it sex

edit: I'm not even snarky now, it's just that people usually ask this question in the context of sex, 'can I write about sex if I've never done it'


Lol, you made me smile with that xD but it is usually true!

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#17
I’m planning on writing about a story about a historically black college/university professor who does soul magic so I asked my friends. She’s trinidadian, and so I asked about cultural norms and myths and it just got me thinking. You probably know someone who is from a different culture or working background and they’ll be glad to speak with you about it. My friend was thrilled to talk about it. Just ask! 

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#19

Tonya Wrote: Hi...

I'm an aspiring writer but I haven't been writing in months. Recently, I have this story idea rolling around in the back head but I am hesitant to go for it as it's would be about something I know nothing about except surface knowledge. I really like the idea but I'm bit of a perfectionist and I would go crazy if it do not turn out how i want it to. So should i take the chance or give it up.
You should try to research the thing you want to right about, don't be afraid to take the chance! As long as you dedicate yourself to what you're researching the end product should be very good.

Re: How to write about something i have never experience?

#20
Research - as so many others have pointed out. Youtube is also a good source for loads of varied 'opinions' on a topic if you need to get a personal feel for a situation/insight - but do try to get varied opinions for a more nuanced approached. Too much early fiction is used as a platform to preach and talk down to their readers - it's creates an echo chamber and has the side effect of turning off 1/2 of the readers who would have otherwise loved the story.

Draw from personal experience - I know you said you don't have experience in the particular topic, but I don't have experience with slaying demons (thank god). But I do remember what it's like to stare down the maw of the pitch black basement, too terrified to even budge from the first step, then finally taking off at a run to the little less terrifying bedroom. I know what it feels like to be watched from my bedroom window - that pervasive paranoid sense that you just can't shake. These are just two examples that I draw from to create a visceral feeling of dread and build up to raw terror. It's about taking the emotional elements you're already intimately familiar with and putting words to it to recreate that feeling - all without saying: Bob was scared when he looked into the basement.