Back in the Eighties Gordon Gano and Violent Femmes were one of the better, surprising bands to come about and produce a series of quite remarkable albums. Their third in that line was “The Blind Leading The Naked” from 1986. It even had a great version of T.Rex’ “Children of the Revolution” on it.
As a writer, the title of the album should make you think though when you start preparing your next story, none, article, copywriting anything… Certainly, you start writing your outline, put down your ideas and what kind of research you need to do, even if it is a personal story or just a flash of inspiration (you do your research, don’t you). Of course, it is your initial ideas that are the driving force behind what you are about to write - you start out with some preconceptions, even if they are just general ones.
And then you get to your research. Bit by bit, it turns out that this research starts either bringing down your preconceptions, changes your ideas or brings about new ones. What then? Do you stick firmly to your initial ideas, strictly follow where the research leads you, or abandon everything and pick up on the newly developed ideas?
Doing just one of those might put you in a situation Violent Femmes spoke of with the title of their album. You need to think about a possible balance with all of the above possibilities, with one exception.
Your idea is yours, even if it is a bad one. As such it can certainly be transformed with re-thinking, particularly if it is stimulated by quality research. If it seems implausible, see what is needed to make it a plausible one. That is certainly one way to turns facts into fiction. The new ideas you get… you will write them down, won’t you and pick up on them at some point.
Of course, the only time you’re going to stick to the results of the research is when strictly fact-based writing is involved, particularly if it is journalism or copywriting. You don’t want to be the blind or the naked in such a story, do you?
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