Research is good
So if there's anything I've learned from writing it's that researching your topic is important. Obviously if you know nothing about the subject, but I'm starting to see that even if it's something simple and common, you really need to take a moment to make sure what you think you know about a topic is true.
One of my current favorite YouTube channels is Legal Eagle. This guy is a legit lawyer who addresses legal questions that pop up in the news and media, but, more to the point, he reviews television and movies for their legal realism. In three videos I learned more about the law than anything I'd absorbed over my life.
I bring this up because there are so many court and law shows out there. The very fact that he has so much fodder for his channel, that he can take them apart so much, speaks to the fact that we, as a culture, take a lot of things for granted. We've seen the trial procedure depicted so many times in movies and television that we think we know how it works. And that image that's has been shown is just repeated by new producers and writers who don't bother to look deeper into it.
I'm sure there are plenty of writers who know exactly how trials are run and realize (like I did when I covered trials for the news) that they're terribly boring. They're not exciting like they are on television. But there's enough people thinking they know how it works that I'm sure plenty of writers out there just assume that's how court goes.
I bring this up as a single example. How many other things do we "know" that we haven't experienced for ourselves? Do you know what a police investigation is actually like? How about farming? Bottling soda? Giving birth? There are tons of situations we think we know but have never actually experienced. That's why research is paramount.
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.