As a writer, we are always looking for new ideas, influences, and inspirations to adorn our craft. We know the usual suggestion of observing other people, how they talk, how they act, but why not use those closest to you too?
Our family, spending time with them and observing them, can bring a variety of new skills and experiences that can be applied to writing.
This summer I enrolled my son in a karate class to help with bulling at school, one of those evils that never fades away no matter what generation you are. The class took place once a week and lasted forty-five minutes. During that time I would take a book or my ipod to listen to music, but most of the time I found I had to pay attention so I could review with my son later that day and for the remainder of the week.
Towards the end of the course I realized that not only my son had learned beginners karate and moved up to yellow belt, but that I had as well. It dawned on me that there was so much new material I had grasped from my son’s karate course, material that I could not only apply in self defense but in my works as well.
I now know:
- how a karate class is organized and conducted
- basic karate moves and even a bit of history
- some basic self defense to break from several holds and immobilize your attacker
- a combination of techniques (don’t ask me what they are called, forgot that)
- how to spar and how sparring is scored.
All this new information can be applied to my writing and help either create a character who taught or took karate classes, maybe already knew a specific level of karate. Maybe the character is a mother who took her son to karate class and in turn meets her love interest there? Maybe the character took a self defense class because of a bad experience in the past, the options are endless.
But that isn’t all, one day we had to drive through a flood to get to the class (the city we currently reside in apparently floods quite easily) and everything that happened along the way provided new ideas, observations, and experiences.
Good thing we didn’t get stuck. 🙂 Though that too would have brought its own type of experience, a bad one but an experience nonetheless.
So, next time you are considering enrolling your kids in a sport, class or event take the time to learn the craft as well. Your writing will thank you.