One of the most common pieces of advice handed out to writers is to Write What You Know. As advice goes, this particular nugget of wisdom is pretty rubbish, unless you happen to have a lifestyle similar to Jack Reacher, or James Bond. And it’s entirely useless if you write Sci-Fi, or Fantasy, or Sparkly Vampire Fiction etc. Happily, I don’t write any of that stuff, so I was able to “write what I know” for a scene in my book.
The scene deals with a situation where my, not so heroic, hero, Ben, is caught red-handed doing something he shouldn’t. Here is a short excerpt from the scene, and yes, something very similar happened to me.
I waited until John had left the room, and I turned to Bonnie. She was looking at me in an odd way, almost as if she was making sure everything was where it was supposed to be. I smiled and she moved her gaze to her lap. I took the opportunity to give her the once-over. She was dressed in a matching grey jacket and skirt. The skirt was tight and clung to her thighs, accentuating their shape and length. My eyes travelled along them and down to her calves, which were perfectly formed and tanned. I looked back up to her face to see her watching me from behind her hair.
Shit! Caught in the act. Quick, say something.
“So, you’re a woman…”
What am I saying?
“I mean, of course you’re a woman. It’s just that I, er, we I mean, we weren’t expecting you to er, to be…”
“You were expecting a man?” she said, looking directly at me, her apparent shyness gone.
“Something like that.”
Something like that! Get a grip, for heaven’s sake.
“I mean, yes, a man.”
Okay, end of excerpt. I’ll be the one walking around with a brown paper bag over his head for the rest of the day.