Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Works In Progress & RESEARCH

So many people have asked me how I think of things to write. Okay, so it's mostly family who ask this... since I have only self-published one novella, but still, it counts! lol~  My kids say that I am just super smart. My husband says I have a severely twisted mind. Personally, I like my kids' answer better!  But my answer?  Creativity and research.

Yeah, I know. The dreaded, horrible R-word. RESEARCH. The word that gives many of us writers horrible nightmares both night and day, making us break out into a sweat as we bravely sit down to write our latest masterpiece. You know the one... the one that is gonna put us on the MAP. Put our name out into the world where people will love us for our brilliance. Uh huh... I can feel the poo starting to rise and I am in open-toed shoes at the moment so I'm gonna stop now. 
Seriously, research is the best and (if we are being honest with ourselves) ONLY way to write well.  I would love to say that everything I have thought about was my own thought but it isn't. I research everything that I am working on. I make calls, I write emails, I WORK HARD at finding out the correct answer to something before I write it.  That way, I know that when I write something... I don't sound like an idiot. lol.... and it doesn't take much sometimes.  The point is, always research what you are writing. Especially the technical stuff. Otherwise, you are going to have a book that isn't your best and every reviewer, every reader, WILL call you on it.

Good luck and remember, research doesn't have to be a bad word. An aggravating one, yes, but not necessarily a bad one.


  1. I love research and it I get my best tips from the strangest places. I once posted on facebook a status of "Concrete. I need to understand everything about it. quickly." I had a friend from high school that messaged me that her husband owned a concrete company, gave me her phone number and he schooled me, then read that section of my manuscript for accuracy. I did the same thing with rattlesnakes. lol. You meet a lot of interesting people...

  2. Fortunately fantasy has got to be just about the lowest research genre in existence. There are a few basics it helps to know, but beyond that you don't often NEED to research. Sure, you CAN go in to chapter and verse about how the rigging is set on a brigantine, but would you really want to? I can feel your eyes glazing over already.

    I did, however, find myself in the situation of needing to some research for my current MS. My protagonist is a very small women who throws very large men around. I needed an explanation for this, so I had to give her martial arts skills. I don't know much about martial arts, so I had to pick one and study it (a little) to write convincing fight scenes. Consequently, I know now a number of points on the body where, if strcuk correctly, you will die. You feel so much better now, don't you?

    If nothing else, we can always pull our research out as a party trick. Uh, for discussion I mean. I'm not going to hit someone in a fatal location at a party. Well, probably not...