One of the best conflicts comes from when a character faces his greatest fear. It’s that moment when the hero has taken the call to quest and then meets the dragon he’s been taught all his life to avoid.
I’ve found the same can be said of authors. Playing it safe, we tend to cling to writing things that we understand or know, but sometimes embracing those unfamiliar things can be the start of something really wonderful.
I’m a truly awful card player, but I stepped out on a limb to embrace the sport when I wrote a book about professional gamblers. Was it easy? No. But that made me work harder to understand the rules, tricks, and even the minds of the players. I found their cheating devices ingenious and fascinating. I learned more than I ever expected, and hopefully my new appreciation makes the characters more believable.
Recently I wrote a story about another sport I find especially terrifying–diving. I barely leave the shallow end of the swimming pool, so writing this book had me sweating bullets! I drew from my own fears of drowning to write the scenes with more tension. Would I go deep sea diving now if I could? Probably not! But I have a lot more respect for people who do. 🙂
HER WICKED CAPTAIN, Nov 2014