Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Qualities of a Writer Part I: Curiosity

Cu·ri·os·i·ty [kyoor-ee-os-i-tee] –noun, plural -ties. The desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness

We writers are a curious bunch. (And I do mean curious as in inquisitive. Not curious as in weird. That's a whole 'nother post.) At least I would contend that we need to be. Wondering about stuff is the beginning of finding a story. For my first novel alone I had to find out about fighter jet design, fighter combat, biospheres, bone cancer, Paiute Indians, and coal mining, among other things. I've researched economics, diplomacy, anthropology, black holes, space flight, polygamy, deafness and more. And I love it. I love to learn new things. I love to ask why things are the way they are. I love to wonder why people do the things they do or say the things they say. I want to know everything there is to know. And writing is a really good excuse to find things out.

What are you curious about? Do find curiosity fuels your imagination and desire to write?

I'll be blogging about other qualities I feel are important for writers to possess, so stay tuned!

17 comments:

Krista said...

I like to study human behavior. So one of my favorite TV shows is Survivor. This curiosity does fuel my imagination amd desire to write. I often find myself asking, what if such-and-such type of person were in this type of situation. And then a story is born.

Angie said...

That's great, Krista. Good way to come up with a story for sure.

logankstewart said...

An excellent question, Angie. Curiosity is by and large one of the main reasons behind storytelling for me. There's just so much that I cannot know, yet I am still curious. Like, for example, I want to know what it would feel like to get hit by a city bus, and then again I absolutely have no true desire for this to happen. Through writing I can imagine this, thus somewhat satisfying my curiosities.

Excellent post!

Shallee said...

Curiosity absolutely fuels my writing. I love learning new things, and writing about them, and discovering I need to learn about new things, and learning about those too. My husband teases me sometimes (in a good way) for getting so excited about the stuff I learn.

Christine Rains said...

I love to learn new things. If I could afford to be a professional student, I'd do it! I already owe too much in student loans. My curiosity always overrides my fear. I'd be the one in the horror movie investigating the strange noises and killed off first for it! Yet so far, my curiosity has led me to discover wonderful and fascinating things even in dark corners.

Michelle Teacress said...

I like this blog post idea, and am glad you'll be doing more. I'm CURIOUS to see what other writerly traits you think are important. Maybe we see the world through similar eyes. :)

Jan Markley said...

I find I'm curious about absolutely everything! I'm sure people get sick of me asking them what their motivation is to do something ...

Laura Josephsen said...

It IS cool to learn about new things for stories. I think curiosity can lead us to a lot of new discoveries. My curiosity probaby tends to lie more in wondering "what would happen if...?"

Melanie Goldmund said...

Oh, yes, I'm definitely curious. I wrote a fanfic once based on the television series 24, and wanted to reserach exactly what it felt like to be tasered. Apparently, it does not render you instantly unconscious, like we see on television. You're still awake and aware, you just can't do anything because all your nerves are scrambled -- but I digress. What else am I curious about? Pretty much everything that I think I need to write a good story.

I don't know if curiosity is the main fuel for my writing, though it's certainly a part of the process. In my fanfic days, it was more impatience and frustration. What? You haven't explored this particular aspect or this particular character in the way I want? By golly, I'll just have to write it myself! Now let's see. How long does it take to fly from the sun out to the edge of the galaxy if you are going the speed of light ...

Melanie Goldmund said...

Dang, I wrote "galaxy" when I meant to write "solar system." I must be a writer -- I can't stop myself from reviewing and revising even on a comment on somebody else's blog. *g*

Angela Felsted said...

For me it's not so much curiosity as a desire to explore feelings and situations. Would you consider that a valid form of curiosity?

Angie said...

Christine, I know what you mean. It would be fun to just be a student. I'm glad your curiosity has led you to wonderful things.

Hi, Jan. Do people have an answer for their motivations? I am curious about that too.

Melanie, I was totally into your tasering description. =) And a trip to the edge of the galaxy sounds fun!

Laura Pauling said...

I love researching for novel. So many times it sparks great story lines!

Angie said...

I've had that experience too, Laura. I love it when that happens. Sometimes more research gets me unstuck too. Thanks so much for stopping by and following!

LTM said...

oh, yes. Definitely. I"m always asking quesitons and questions... that's what made me become a journalist. And now I'm a novelist. Very good quality~ :o) <3

Tyrean Martinson said...

Excellent question! Daydreaming up new endings, beginnings, and answers to some of my own question is usually where I start. I've read Czechoslovakian history, Bohemmian history, and a book about Duke Wenceslas (the one we sing about in Good King Wenceslas), and learned some Czech names just to start a book on Wenceslas that I'm thinking of revisiting this fall. For my current WIP The Crystal Sword, I've studied the properites of crystals, the Magna Carta, and revisited some of my fencing club lessons.
Due to somewhat recent past experience, I hope to write something that includes swimming with Manta Rays . . . someday.

Angie said...

Those all sound really interesting, Tyrean. Swimming with Manta Rays sounds awesome. Thanks for stopping by.