Prompts 89-90

Prompt 89: What expert do you wish could come teach you what they know?

Here in the Information Age, or Digital Age, whatever you choose to call it, anything we could ever want to know is right at our fingertips. We’re so connected that we’re becoming disconnected from each other. We don’t actually need to talk to other human beings for information, it’s just… there. Waiting for us.

This is a tricky prompt for me to answer. There isn’t really one topic that I wish I could sit down and chat with an expert about. I like learning new things, though neuroplasticity is a thing and I worry I do myself more harm than good reading scientific articles on the internet for the lulz the closer I creep to 30. It’s mostly in one ear and out the other; I don’t retain any of it beyond “oh, that’s neat” and move on. This blog is my active effort to keep my brain actually engaged through writing, but I digress.

Writing has always been an integral part of my life, and I’ve been working very hard at making sure to do it every day, almost like a part time job. I suppose if there was one topic in particular I’d love to learn from an expert it would be writing. I’d love to talk to Stephen King about writing, but he has already written a book about it, answering all the questions I might be liable to ask him. Again, in the Age of Information, resources are abundant.

Oh, actually, speaking of writing, research is an important aspect. I haven’t done enough (or much at all really) so it tends to slip my mind. But for writing, you need to know a little bit of all sorts of things to make your story plausible, particularly in Historical and Science Fiction. Those are places you need outside help from experts. And I just remembered how much I would love to talk to a geneticist for my post-apocalyptic mutant story. Specifically, epigenetics fascinate me for that particular world.

What topics would you love to discuss with an expert? What would you love to know more about? Are you seeking pure knowledge or are you a self-styled expert who wishes to debate someone who is familiar with your particular poison? Write these things down! As I always say, you never know when they could be useful!

Prompt 90: It has been said, “You are what you eat.” Rewrite that phrase: “You are what you _____ .”

Google has some great autofills for this:

You are what you love.
You are what you think.
You are what you is.
You are what you do.
You are what you repeatedly do.
You are what you attract.
You are what you say you are.

If I had to add one, it’d be this: You are what you believe.

That sort of goes along with the “you are what you think” autofill, but it goes a little deeper than that. Belief is deeper than that. It is what makes up our very core. You can tell a lot about a person by the things they stand up for. Belief doesn’t have to be rational, but it is revealing.

It isn’t absolute either. Your beliefs can change. That’s how you can have born-again Christians and converts who grew up hating God and religion. That’s how formerly devout people turn their backs on religion and become atheist or, at the very least, agnostic. I realize I’m using religion as an example, but belief isn’t limited to faith. It isn’t a zero sum.

What do you believe? Take it away, and who are you? What are you?

More importantly, how can you use this in your writing? Your characters should have firm beliefs, things that define them. How rigidly they adhere to their beliefs is something you can use in telling their story. Are they easily swayed? Are they stubborn to the point of conflict?

These are good things to explore. Write down some beliefs, big and small, serious and silly. Why do they believe these things? You can figure it out, I believe in you! (See what I did there? Eh? EH?)

That’s it for me tonight! I’ll see you tomorrow!

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