By Keith N Fisher
There is a saying I remember from childhood. I’m not sure where I heard it, or what the context was, but it’s Jack of All Trades, Master of None. I’ve always interpreted it as a man who can do many things, but nothing to perfection. I look at my long work career and figure I took the saying to heart.
As a writer, I’m still trying to master the craft, but my experience in life helps me plot stories. A thought occurred to me the other day as I watched two of my friends. One taught, and the other learned, while they went through an aspect of a certain computer program.
I thought about the saying and all the bits of knowledge a writer collects while applying their craft. Also, the hands on experiences they have while trying to describe something, are invaluable. I have another friend who probably wouldn’t have learned about computers and the Internet, if it hadn’t been for her writing career. Some writers do ride alongs trying to learn about police procedure.
We interview people who’ve had the experience in an effort to describe it. We research historical events in order to give our characters an accurate plot. Some people sit in courtrooms, some in hospitals. Others make notes at baseball games. During the course of our research, writers become Jack of all trades, but never master any of them. Some know all the procedures of heart surgery without ever getting near a patient.
For these reasons, I think writers would make great quiz show contestants. More than that, however. Writers who research can weave a tale of intrigue that rings true to those who read. Those writers become a Jack of all trades, masters of writing.
Good luck mastering your craft—see you next week.