I use the word "method" in a very loose way here: there idea is to discuss drawing ideas from experiences as well as seeking out experiences in order to gain a better understanding of what you are writing about. There's a thread here that's fairly close to the subject, but I thought it best to start a new one dedicated solely on discussing seeking out experiences on purpose to help with your writing, and whether it’s necessary or not. When I write with my writing partner, KaTrian, we strive for a degree of realism. To us, it does help to have first-hand experiences. We have found that we can add a bit more realism by including some small details about the subject we have discovered through first-hand experiences. Sometimes these experiences can be even be a bit daunting, but we still try to go through with it. Sometimes it costs time and money, but to us, it's worth it because not only does it help with our limited imaginations, to us, it's fun, and we gain fun memories from the times we've dabbled with some of the things we would otherwise never have tried. Some things have proven so much fun, they have even turned into hobbies. Of course at some point you just have to accept you will never gain first-hand experience on some subjects (e.g. if they are physically impossible, too dangerous, or illegal), and you have to rely on your imagination, but that doesn't mean one couldn't experiment with things that are possible and within the boundaries of reasonable behavior. We have discussed this subject with many folks and there seems to be some division among authors: some prefer to rely on research and imagination, insisting a true writer needs only their imagination to describe things. Others are more like us: they seek to experience the things they write about to gain new ways of looking at the subject. I believe neither is better or worse, they are just different methods of writing. Which way of thinking is closer to yours? Or do you fall somewhere in-between? I know some authors do: they draw from their own experiences, but don't go out of their way to experience the things they write about but haven't experienced themselves. What things have you done? How far are you willing to go to help your writing? How far is too far? Or do you believe our imaginations are the only things we need, and that we shouldn't even try to seek out new experiences if the sole motivation is to aid our writing?