OR: Write what you know...
74 degrees 8:18 pm
So we found this picture in an ad for charts in a boating magazine. The title of the ad was: THINK YOU DON'T NEED ACCURATE CHARTS? JUST WAIT UNTIL YOUR ELECTRONICS FAIL.
And Gordon said you'd have bigger problems than charts, if you were sailing this boat.
Well maybe research really does work the same as knowing exactly how something works in fiction.
Writers have to be really really careful.
So why does this ad make me think that the advertiser knows nothing about sailing.
Supply your conjectures.
There's more than one reason...
Now I'm not saying a writer actually has to fly a plane. Go up in space. Fight an alien. Ride a horse or sail a boat to write about them.
A writer just has to have a great imagination and preselect their beta readers who have expertise.
But when readers like me read a book and it's about scuba diving and the author doesn't mention the bubbles stream upward to the surface- in fact they describe glistening orbs gently following the diver underwater. Or maybe their book is about a medical laboratory in a hospital and they have their lab techs work directly with blood, without gloves and face shields or maybe they are writing about an architect and have him design a multimillion dollar building on a napkin in a restaurant instead of using CAD.
Whatever the mistake I believe readers will search it out and find it.
It's not that a writer has to have direct experience it's just that we have to fool the reader so they think we do.
What's wrong with this picture?