Monday, October 24, 2011

Of Curiosity and Throwing Knives

I was sitting in my dorm room sort of writing and sort of doing research for my story when my roommate came in and leaned over my shoulder.  She looked from the screen to me and back again, then raised her eyebrows and said, “Throwing knives?!”

Yes, throwing knives.

If she had been able to look past the three inches of well-balanced lethality dominating my computer screen to read my other tabs, she would have found that I also had pages open on the Medieval village, broad swords, the long bow, Renaissance style leather boots, felt hats and a cloak company that will make you awesome wool cloaks (with hoods) on commission.

If she had cared to look the day before, she would have found tabs for Venetian masks, the etiquette of calling cards, instructions on becoming a ventriloquist, and historic floor plans for very big, very old houses. The day before that I was looking up herbal poisons and torture devices.  (Did you know you can purchase poison rings, poison-free, of course, online?)

A) I'm an assassin who's going to the Renaissance Fair or...
B) I'm a writer.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Horatio tells the prince, “'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so” (Ham.V.i.188). As someone who has always had a vast curiosity over things that are not useful in the least, this line has always haunted me. But I think part of what makes me--or anyone--a writer is this burning curiosity. Nothing is to obscure that it would be to “consider to curiously” to find it out. Writers are people with  good cause to want to know everything. If we were content with the limited knowledge acquired only through our experiences, we would never write to begin with.

It occurs to me that I must befuddle the internet spy programs that are supposed to show things to interest you specifically. They've been trying to sell me men's Renaissance-style boots for days now.


  1. I've said it many times when given the opportunity: don't write what you know--write what you love. In other words, write the story that you love, and if it goes beyond the scope of your knowledge and experience--research! Writers are supposed to be imaginative, and it's a severely limited imagination that can't operate outside of its realm of experience.

  2. Haha this is fantastic!! I can totally relate. Although, when there are Scottish Claymores on my screen it's actually because I'm looking to buy one... :D

  3. @Colin: "Write what you love." I absolutely agree.

    @Tiffany: Wow, I would love to see your sword collection someday!