How working on airplanes and race cars help my writing

Blog Post Number 33 Written: 06-24-2021 Uploaded: 09-16-2022

            I think my escapades as a mechanic and Avionics Tech have helped my writing more than most people would expect, myself included. I have worked on everything from 747’s to race cars and motorcycles with lots of stuff in between. Lots of 80’s ford trucks, a jeep Cherokee. UTV’s, sand rails, buggies, and so on. I feel like I have this innate mechanical knowledge, I just kinda know how things go together, or come apart. And I have drawn upon that. All the dark, hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, greasy, and awkward places inside massive airplanes, like 777’s and MD-11s, to help lend some realism to some of the situations my characters get into.

            That kind of experience helps me relate to, helps me describe, the desperate and desolate moments inside a crippled spaceship as the surviving crew works feverishly to get the ship back under control, get the systems back online. I hope there’s just enough little extra something in there that makes those outlandish situations just a little more relatable, just a little more human. Something to give it that edge that lets the reader connect with the story, to drive it home, and have people gobbling up my words and still asking for more. Because while it is science fiction set some five hundred years in the future, it’s still a very human story. A story that shows the breadth of human emotion, that no person is good, that no person is evil, that we are all imperfect and just doing what we can, what we must to survive, because there is no other option. I want that connection, that extra bit of realism that drives it home, that connects the readers to the story, like the difference between a digital recording and a vinyl record. There’s just a little something extra in there, that little bit more organic feeling, the unedited peaks, and valleys, and hum in the sound that just gives it a little bit more vibrancy, a little bit more life to set it apart from the others.

            I am a strong proponent of having adventures, in order to write adventures. Not that I am advocating you go do anything dangerous, but when you’ve been lost in the desert, when you’ve run out of water when you have been hungry when you’ve been afraid alone, and in the dark, when you’ve been injured by barbwire had to wrap your calf in duct tape to hold it together and ride your bicycle home with one leg. When you have summited that mountain, gotten to the deepest, darkest, quietest part of the cave after exhaling, so your chest shrank and you could fit through the hole. When you managed to hold onto your spooked horse or help your buddy flip the sand rail back over after he rolled it with you in the passenger seat, or spend a summer in the heat chain sawing trees after they were scorched by a forest fire, or stringing barbwire fence around an upstart pistachio farm, or delivering goat babies. To go have adventures, chase that feeling…

            Experience gives you something to write about, gives you a connection to your writing, gives it that more organic sound just like that vinyl record. If you want to start writing, my advice is to first start living. Get out of your apartment, get off your computer, go somewhere do something, go on an adventure. Let your first-hand experience help you write better so that when they’re reading it, the audience gets a better second-hand experience.

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you out there.

Published by chacerandolph

Science fiction author and Avionics Technician

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