Yep. I admit it. I call upon my friends’ expertise all the time. And I think they really get into it.
I have a blessed life. In nineteen moves, coast to coast and even to Japan, I’ve had the privilege to meet a lot of interesting people. Add to that thirty years in public relations and as the wife of an active duty Marine for twenty-three years, and I now know rocket scientists to snipers, ATF agents to undercover cops, attorneys to real-life cowboys. Lots of resources!
Let me dazzle you with some numbers. A New York Times article last year said the average American knows 600 people. For 90% of them, those friends and acquaintances never change. For us ten percent who move away from the place we were born and raised, that’s about 36 million by the way, only 6 million move out of state. So that basic 600 people doubles with every move. If those numbers can be believed, then I know nearly 12,000 people. Since I’ve worked in public relations for thirty years, my job meeting people, you can increase that number again, exponentially.
That’s a lot of personalities to draw from, and a whole lot of people I can reach out and ask questions. I pride myself on accuracy of details, which means lots of research, thus I often talk with friends.
While working on Conquered in Cancun last week, I was writing a SCUBA diving scene where I needed the exact sequence of events. I called my friend Barry who lives in Georgia. He not only teaches SCUBA, but also owns a dive shop in addition to his real job. Thank God for cell phones. He was in Florida. Diving of course. After answering the original question, our conversation wandered off into the dangers of diving.
An idea struck and with Barry’s enthusiastic help, my story plot changed.
Time for editing.
Does this happen to you, or is it just me? Do your stories take a drastic turn when you learn something new? Do you tap into your friends for real life experiences?
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