Writing out of your comfort zone…

In other words completely making things up! That’s what I’m doing now. 

The hero in my current wip – MAN DROUGHT – is a volunteer ambulance officer (which my hubby happens to be also). He lives in a small rural community – the nearest hospital is about forty minutes drive away and the nearest maternity hospital even further. 
So what happens when the heroine’s best friend goes into early labour? 
He’s called in to be the well… um… the HERO! Now there are a few problems with this scenario. One, I’ve never delivered a baby. And two, even though I have three kids, I’ve never actually given birth – I had three c-sections you see. Three, despite being married to an ambo officer, being in the back of the van showing the kids it is the closest I’ve got. 
But this is what writing fiction is all about – doing some research and then making it up as best you can. When I’m finished this ambulance delivery scene I will bribe a couple of CPs (who have had babies and/or are nurses) and I will also get my ambo hubby to take a look. Hopefully the end product will be authentic.
So… I’m curious… what have you written (or read) that was out of your comfort zone lately?
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8 thoughts on “Writing out of your comfort zone…

  1. Wow, you've got one gorgeous hero there, delivering a baby! That's going to be a very powerful scene. It sounds like you've got your support network ready, with your CPs and hubby on standby 🙂

    I find it a challenge to set a book in a place I haven't been. And having not travelled beyond Australia, this is quite a failing. I'm going to try to set my next story outside of my comfort zone, but I do find it difficult, not wanting my ignorance to ruin the story.

    Good luck!
    Madeline x

  2. Sounds like the beginning of a great story!
    I didn't really know any laws or police questions, so I had to grill my neighbor (the chief of police) for some info. 🙂
    And then for the book I'm finishing up now, I had to ask my friend (who owns a bakery) some bakery questions.

  3. I make stuff up all the time. My fav at the momnet is a vet delivering a foal. But how lucky are we. What did authors do years (and years) ago without the internet? I write contemp stuff so it's not too hard when you have a good imagination. The people I admire are those who write historicals, and research everything from word usage to textiles. Interesting post (again) Rach

  4. Hmm… 🙂
    Writing about a missing child, although my child has never gone missing. Lot's of research later I learned so much, not only for my writing but general knowledge.

    Emotional symptoms of trauma:
    Shock, denial, or disbelief
    Anger, irritability, mood swings
    Guilt, shame, self-blame
    Feeling sad or hopeless Confusion, difficulty concentrating
    Anxiety and fear
    Withdrawing from others
    Feeling disconnected or numb

    Physical symptoms of trauma:
    Insomnia or nightmares
    Being startled easily
    Racing heartbeat
    Aches and pains Fatigue
    Difficulty concentrating
    Edginess and agitation
    Muscle tension
    These symptoms and feelings last from a few days to a few months, gradually fading as they process the trauma. But even when they feel better, they may still have troubles. Painful memeories. etc etc.

    I had so much to work with, and learned much in the meantime.

  5. How funny! I have a very similar situation in the med I'm currently waiting to hear back on. Although, given how long i've been waiting, my baby is now almost old enough to take it's driving test :0)

  6. Thanks Madeline – this scene has certainly made me fall a little more in love with the hero 🙂 I agree with you re setting. My last wip was in Hollywood (still waiting for find out if it's gonna sell) and I'm so scared that it might not read authentic!

    Jennifer – sounds like you have some useful neighbours. And does the bakery research include eating? Cos that sounds like a LOT of fun!

    LOL Jenn – maybe we should compare our delivery scenes! And yes, thank the LORD for the Internet!

    Suz – wow, you're research is very thorough there. Is this one of your new releases cos the subject sounds great!

    Suzanne – Good luck with your med. And LOL on the driving test. Was your baby a girl or a boy?

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