How to sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about

So I was reading this bit of historical fiction. The author had obviously done a lot of research into the time period she was writing about. She included all the details. But I still found it almost impossible to suspend my disbelief. I had this nearly overwhelming feeling that the author didn’t know what she was talking about.

Then today I was reading this fun chatty blog post written by my cousin-in-law’s sister-in-law, who wrote about her recent wedding, saying, “Not that the months leading up to our wedding didn’t come with their fair share of trials and difficulties.. they surely did with a few things out of left field that left us baffled and bewildered.”

Neither I nor any of my siblings has ever gotten married, and it occurred to me that if I were to write a story about a wedding, everyone reading it would be able to tell that I have never experienced one, because I have no clue what sorts of things come out of left field that leave people baffled and bewildered.

I could find a copy of The Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer, and carefully study it. I could make my character pick out flowers, and a wedding dress, and a cake. But no matter how many details I threw in, if something didn’t go wrong, it would show my readers quite clearly that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

That got my mind churning. I have, a couple times, asked people about their jobs because I wanted to know some details for a story I was writing. From now on, I think I’ll start off with the question, “where you work, what kinds of things are likely to go wrong?”

Actually that might just be an interesting question to ask in general.

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4 responses to “How to sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about

  1. So, where YOU work, what is likely to go wrong? 🙂

    Like

  2. Hmmm… find this article insightful – this explains some folks angst with the reports of Rodney Sweigarts disappearance…

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  3. Pingback: What Goes Wrong Where I Work | The Girl in the Red Rubber Boots

  4. This seems like a great question for a new employee to ask. I am going through some job shadows, and I plan on asking this question to get the skivvy. It could potentially show different weaknesses and areas for improvement between different facilities, which could maybe put me ahead when getting employed somewhere. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

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