First Hand Experience
I've mentioned before that we're having some very welcome rain in my neck of the woods. As well as enjoying wonderful views of the snow capped mountains in the distance and emerald grass at my feet that is normally donkey brown, I have deliberately taken walks in the rain. I do this so that I can experience something I may want to include in a scene. How does it feel to walk in the rain? Actually, I've forgotten due to our four year long drought. So, I walked in the rain, with an umbrella and without an umbrella and took notes which will be filed away until I need them. This is a first hand experience of course. I can't do this type of exercise with every experience that I want to include in a book. I may want to write a story that includes a scene where skiing is the perfect solution. I don't ski and I don't particularly want to take up the sport either. For this, I will watch videos and imagine what this sensation feels like.
My next book, which I'm currently editing, is set in a winery. For those of you who know me, that's a pretty easy experience to write about!