Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the Blog Chain - Research Can Be Fun! REALLY!!!

It's Blog Chain time again, and this time the topic comes from Michelle M, who asked the following:

There are so many things we have to include in our storyworlds...characters, world details, settings, etc. No matter what genre you write, your stories are full of tiny details that help create your storyworld. I know that for me, at least, finding or creating all these details can sometimes be a bit tough.  

Where do you go for help? And what types of things are you more likely to research/search for as opposed to making up on your own? Do you have any favorite resource sites? Share links if you have them!!

Wow! What a tough question! As most of you guys know already, I am thinker. This means that yes, I tend to "think" out ever detail in a story. Let's take my current project. I am not ready to say much about it other than to say that I wanted to write a Gothic tale. So, what did I do...I read a LOT of Gothic stories. I also wanted it to have a strong lyrical, almost poetic, writing style. So, again, what did I do...I read a lot of that style so I could lock in the tone. And finally, I wanted it set in the Gilded Age of NY. So I read other works set in that time period. All of this before I ever drafted a single word.

Now, since I am currently in editing mode on this particular WiP, I have had some definite additional research areas come up. Things like when electricity replaced oil lamps, and the anatomy of the violin, and even how fire tends to burn - all of these are topics I have recently had to research.

For me, all the answers were found courtesy of Google. With videos, posts, and Google Earth, there is very little I can't find out if I'm willing to just spend a little time at it.

And you know what....

It's fun!

How do you go about researching? Or is research just a bad word in your mind?
For more on this topic, check out Margie's post from yesterday or hop on over and read Abby's tomorrow


  1. Great tips! I love lyrical styles. Looking forward to reading!

  2. Google all the way. I'll research anything I don't feel I know well enough to get away with. You know, fudging with accuracy. ;o)

    And research is only a bad word if I get lost in the research to the detriment of my actual writing. I can spend hours getting every little detail and then only use a tenth of it in my writing. That's just not good.

  3. I'm constantly looking things up online, even for my fantasy novels, just to get them as real as possible.

    I recently critted a sci-fi novel and the author made a HUGE mistake about radioactivity. It wasn't a big deal to her, or to the other critters who don't know their nuclear chemistry, but it made my brain hurt :P So yes, someone out there will know if you are wrong!

  4. Great answer. The fun part about research is how much you learn that you didn't know before, huh? :)

  5. Google is omniscient, or at least the closest to omniscience as we humans can get!

  6. Ooooh, reading other books with similar styles or settings or subjects is totally one of my favorite ways to research... probably because it is an excuse to read;)


Thanks for your input!