Do your research!!!
While this advice has been plaguing my mind recently I wanted to use it here. When you decide to write about anything (a place, a viewpoint, a thing) you want to study up.
Say you’re writing about France but you’ve never been. What would you do? Travel sites would do you little good. Anyone?
Right! You’d ASK SOMEONE whose been there. Maybe even lived there. Because you’re not just going to describe the city, you’re going to want to “feel” the culture and tyre atmosphere.
I, myself, am writing about a disease at the moment. I know very little about this disease aside from what I’ve seen on TV. What did I do? I found many web sites and personal accounts about this disease.
Not the thing to read before bed time, let me tell you.
I now know more than I ever imagined about this sickness and how it affects the human body.
When it comes to writing fiction you can do anything. However, you still want your audience to connect with it. So when you pick a known place or a disease you need to have hard facts to pull your reader in. Give them a tangible world to climb inside.
The moment you write about Times Square in your 2010 mystery and say that there’s a 300 year old Yoshi statue in the dead center people will call you out. Or if you write about Smyrna Georgia and say that the Mississippi river bisects it folks will send hate mail.
Taking the time to research will not only intrigue your readers but it also excites the mind. Finding out that writer Gail Carriger studied MacDougall, the Scottish scientist before using him in her Victorian era novel is fascinating!
Have a good one!