Say you’re writing a story about an airplane pilot who is thinking of leaving everything behind and becoming a monk. To bring this guy to life, you have to know something about flying a plane. So what do you do? Take lessons at the local airfield? That would be ideal, but most of us can’t go that far for a whole variety of reasons. We are fortunate to live in an age when knowledge is everywhere and easily accessed.
This is a clip of Denzel Washington telling Graham Norton that he learned a skill he needed for a role by going to YouTube and practicing what he saw. You can find just about anything online, so there’s really no reason you couldn’t write about a construction worker, a butler on an English estate circa 1920, a woman who gives birth to twins, an unsuccessful contestant on America’s Got Talent, a pig farmer who decides she has to be a vegan, or pretty much anything else.