What other ways are there to acquire knowledge? Will the Internet be helpful?

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    Hi @Jaystar! Welcome to the site! This doesn't seem to be a question about writing, which makes it off-topic for us. It's also a very broad question (what counts as "acquiring knowledge"? How much knowledge? How trustworthy?), which makes it difficult to answer in Stack Exchange's Q&A format. – Standback Apr 22 '18 at 4:54
  • But if you like Writing.SE's look and style (and awesome answers!), check out our site tour, which explains what we're about and how we work :D – Standback Apr 22 '18 at 4:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not a question about writing. – Standback Apr 22 '18 at 4:55
  • Noted. I don't know why it came here. – Jaystar Apr 22 '18 at 5:05
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    You edited the tags only, but you should try to edit your your post's body to address the issues raised by Standback. What do you mean with "acquiring knowledge"? And you seem to be missing your reasoning. Your edit at least looks like you are really interested in "How can I learn to write a fascinating plot?" or something along those lines. It would be good if you could edit your post to state your motivation for asking. What are you trying to achieve with the knowledge? What specific knowledge are you interested in? – Secespitus May 3 '18 at 9:43

If you want to learn the basics of any topic, Wikipedia is a good starting point, although not a sufficient ending point. Check the sources referenced in a Wikipedia article if you want to go deeper in a topic.

For current events, read the newspaper. Online newspapers are fine, but you need to check the same story in different newspapers or TV channels to get a sense of the writers' approach and agendas. If a news story sounds too strange to be true, check what source is quoted and search for it in other newspapers.

For very niche topics (for example, how to make your own yogurt, or how to braid your horse's tail), there are thousands of YouTube channels and podcasts geared toward narrowly specific audiences.

To learn about people's experiences, talk to people.

  • Is youtube always trustable then? – Jaystar Apr 22 '18 at 4:45
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    Same rule as with news stories: trust, but verify. – Carlos Arturo Serrano Apr 22 '18 at 18:32

Besides factual knowledge, which can be gained from Wikipedia, the news, or non-fiction books, writers especially need experience of life. How else are you going to write about people, their personality, and their behavior, if you haven't gained a wide variety of experiences with people?

Hemingway was a great author because he had been out there right in the middle of things and had seen and had things happen to him. He knew the human condition and was able to write about it. And that is why most first novels aren't published by teenagers but by writers in their fourties and fifties.

So what you need to do if you want to gain non-factual knowledge is go out and live life. Exceptions notwithstanding, the most successful writers have not led a cloistered life.

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