Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"K" Is For Knowledge

There are a number of reasons that motivate one to write.  For some, it is an indescribable passion for the written word.  Others write for cathartic purposes; writing provides an outlet to get things off our chest, and in the end, we may or may not wish to pursue our story further.  Some write for hobby; some write simply for the love of creating.

Many factors pushed me to the keyboard on August 13, 2009, the day I began my first YA contemporary.  Longtime readers are familiar with my reasons, which are basically a combination of those mentioned above.  Additionally, life had yielded time to take on such a project, so I decided to take advantage of my circumstances and seize the moment.

All writers have thoughts they hope to share with readers.  Regardless if your goal is mainstream publication, a self published e-book, or writing for hobby, we all envision how our words will impact readers.  For me, creating a compelling story to engage a diverse audience and pull them into my character's lives is a huge part of my mission.  But, I also write with the goal of disseminating knowledge and providing readers opportunities to learn.

For me, spreading knowledge is a mandatory component of good writing.  It is not enough to hook readers and draw them in if the story lacks substance.  When I open a book, I want the author to show me a situation through a perspective I never considered.  I want to be taught through the voice of the character.  I want to learn little facts between the first and last page.  I want to be prompted to look up a topic and learn more about it.

I want a moment where I think to myself: Wow...I never knew that! 

Is knowledge a necessary element in good writing?  How do you incorporate knowledge in your own stories?

5 comments:

  1. I used my knowledge of real fighter jets (and the speculation of science fiction movies) for my book. Although I think my knowledge of people came through stronger.

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  2. It adds to the appreciation of a good book to learn something along the way. This helps you grow as a reader and as a person.

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  3. Yes I think it is important. A lot of things in the Da Vinci Code certainly made me stop and think, and I've read that book several times and still love it!

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  4. The need for knowledge is what drives techno thrillers and Dan Brown type books... not that it's real knowledge (although some of it is), but it makes it seem real, and that enhances the escapism aspect of a novel. One of my favourite quotes is "a lie is best hid between two truths"... and writers lie, that's what we do.

    If a book makes me want to learn more about a subject afterward, then the author did a great job. Memoirs of a Geisha come to mind when I think of a book that caused me to learn more after I finished the book (about an area of WW2 I didn't know as much about).

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  5. first off i like your writing and your k post. i am 65 year old dyslectic retired engineering tech.
    i try to write fiction but use historic places and events kinda like a news report the was never write or reposted. check out my novel i am writing here http://radurham.blogspot.com or my blog http://royd-spiltmilk.blogspot.com. like your post. thank you and God Bless.

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