Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration - Frank G. Slaughter
Many years ago, I read just about everything Mr. Slaughter wrote, particularly his medical based stories. I believed because he was a doctor, he knew everything there was to know about medicine. When I began writing, my stories were of places and people I knew, nurses and hospitals. Then I came across this essay and realized from what I read I didn't have to know everything about a subject to write about it. Research was part of the clue, but the other was this quote. "Fortunately, if the novelist is a skilled story teller, creating the illusion ofexpertness is really not difficult; properly handled a little knowledge can be made to go a long way."
For me reading this was an eye-opener and I began to experiment in leaving the tried and true world I knew for other pastures and even genres. Another thing I discovered about this little bit of knowledge to sprinkle in my stories was not to throw it in a large lump with paragraph after paragraph to prove I was an expert in something I really didn't know. Often hours of research was compressed into one or two lines. Even the medical stories I wrote benefitted from this advice. I was able to enter other parts of the hospital. I found as long as I could read about or talk to someone who was a real expert, I could add that flavor to my work. So remember what was said about a little knowledge going a long way when used properly