Doing what your characters do

Or doing what they’ve done, or going to do what they already did, or …

Have you done what your characters have done or will do? Will you soon be doing what they already did?

Even in the universe of fiction I found that engaging in the activity makes it far easier to write about it.

The underlying theme in my mind, as I write, is the simple standard of ‘is this plausible and if it isn’t how and where do I introduce earlier elements to make it plausible?’.

It doesn’t have to be real, just plausible. (though there is one plot device where I’m intentionally using actual results to make the point, just changing the names involved)

Is it plausible to swim with a shark? Lot’s of stories and videos abound online of doing so. But to have actually experienced it?

I did.

Twice, in one scuba dive. I talk about it HERE. That Blacktip shark was right there, not even 15 feet away.

My main character in the Distance In Time series, The Chairman, was a competition shooter in his youth. I’ve done that and keep at it every now and then.

The Chairman is a pilot. I’ve flown planes, performed landings, steep turns, aerobatics …

The character’s wife, Michelle, is a computer genius. Am I? No, but I’m familiar with code, with the concept of how it works, the meaning behind the code format. Expert? No. But enough where I can write about it.

I still have to skydive though. Yeah, the Chairman has done that also ūüėÄ

.

I swam with a Blacktip shark

Or at least tried to lol.


(Screenshot from my GoPro)

Myself and my PADI instructor, Nick, were approaching the sunken winch in Molasses Reef down in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

We were about 22 feet deep. This was my third open water dive for certification.

The shark was approaching from my right and I caught him briefly on the GoPro. (video below)

We were both kicking with powerful strokes, perfect form and we could BARELY keep up.  That magnificent beast was swishing his tail about once every two seconds, hardly moving, but enough to lazily outpace us.

Later on we came across the shark again!

I was in trail when my instructor looked back at me and pointed back and to my left.

I twisted myself back a bit … BAM! ¬†There he was!

He was just cruising along, no stress at all, with his entourage, a few stuck to him, the others swimming along with him.

We just hovered briefly as he went by and you could see his right eye take us in momentarily, “just the pair of SCUBA slowpokes from before.”

When he passed Nick we started following him. But like I mentioned above, he simply outpaced us.

What an incredible creature.

This experience created the spark later on¬†for one of the scenes in the upcoming science fiction thriller ‘Distance In Time: Michelle’