The Mentees in 2015 Pitch Wars contest all chat and complain and help each other.
The resources we’ve built in our little community are incredibly helpful, and I want to make sure YOU know how to build these resources.
Here’s Resource #2:
Phone a Friend List
What is it?
A list of Areas of Expertise. For most, writing isn’t your day job. It’s your passion, it’s your addiction, it’s your love, but it isn’t your bill-payer. This comes in handy when you want to draw from the real world to fuel your characters.
Why is it important?
Researching is key to creating a realistic and vivid world. Whether that means researching herbal wound treatments for a medieval fantasy or digging into the nit-grit of office politics, someone out there has the details you need. Gathering these resources and knowing who to talk to can make a huge difference! Sometimes it’s as simple as asking Twitter, and sometimes you want to have a proper chat.
How do YOU do this?
The best part about this is that you don’t need to make a million Writer Friends. Writer Friends are awesome, but this Phone a Friend list can extend to anyone who’s willing to chat. Make a list (or ask your friends, family, CPs, beta readers, online buddies) of a person and their areas of expertise. That way, when you need some information, you have your own database (or share one with your Writer Friends) filled with people and what they’re willing to share! Bonus: you can go to these people and ask your questions before you start trudging through Google results!
Don’t freak out if you don’t think you have any expertise. Because you do!
It can be as simple as having a name and list, such as:
Joe Shmoe, available to chat about:
- Anything calculus
- Data sheets
- Boring office politics (including fighting over the thermostat and coffee maker)
- Three brothers, one sister
- Grew up heavily catholic, familiar with church-y things
- I make my own tea
- Studied historical weaponry in college, familiar with some long-range weapons
Josephine Shmosephine, expert-ish in:
- Chem major
- Low income family as a wee child
- lived in four different countries since college (Ireland, Egypt, Australia, and Canada)
- Raised by two dads
- Camp counselor in summers
- Work as a chem tech at a big company, familiar with lab equipment