If you’re looking to be a writer, chances are you’re already pretty good in an English or Language Arts class. But aside from studying older literature to learn from, focusing exclusively on Language Arts materials is only going to get you so far. So, here are some subjects I’ve studied that I’ve found helpful to my writing.
- Psychology: Since Psychology is the study of behavior, this is a good tool to study if you’re having problems with characterization. Understanding how people act and what thought processes cause people to take certain actions. This can help you give a character a more realistic response after experiencing emotional trauma, or may just help you slip into someone else’s mindset in order to write them better.
- Cultural Anthropology: This may be more vital if you write Fantasy or Science Fiction, since both genres tend to require world building. Understanding the cultural element of society, what shapes it, and how it impacts behaviors, social norms, and etiquette can make worldbuilding easier for you.
- History: If you write Fantasy, War Dramas, or Historical Fiction, the subject of history is going to be your best friend. Whether it’s pulling from real people, events, or conflicts, history is littered with a goldmine of possible story ideas.
- Screenwriting/Playwriting: If you struggle with ‘show don’t tell’ or dialogue, this is probably going to be a useful skill to learn. Since films and plays tend to lack an internal narration, they’ll push you to have to learn how to convey information visually or through dialogue, taking away the crutch of narration. This can also be useful as a means of writing a skeleton version of your chapters with just basic setting and dialogue and then go in later and fill in the narration elements.
- Linguistics/Phonology: If you want to create conlangs (constructed languages) for your story’s setting, then learning about the building blocks of language can be advantageous.