Friday, February 25, 2011

My Research Escapade

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Today  the Friday Writers are posting about research! You can visit the  4 other authors and see their thoughts on this! Deirdra Eden Coppel, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Anastasia V. Pergakis, and J.D. Brown!

 I most certainly have a method of research. It's everywhere. A spiral notebook here. A slip of paper there. A folder in my "Bookmarks" near, and a neatly compiled file in my hard drive attached per book.

I start my stories off by the seat of my pants. Chengral, for example, is a science fiction based novel with a whole lot of Viking history for when the assassin ventures into our space where Earth exists. For the Viking Era, I did tons of research and jotted down notes and copied the URLs for reference purposes.

I learned a whole lot about them. From the homes they lived in, their societal rules, politics, how marriages were performed, their gods, weapons, hygiene, language, to how women ruled in their clans. Then I live in that world until the book is finished--sometimes beyond, the knowledge never leaves me.

It's always a growing adventure for me when I research.

How does research strengthen you?

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31 comments:

  1. I always enjoy my research. As an avid reader I love doing research, but as an avid writer, I sometimes get frustrated at having to wait until my subject is better researched. Nonetheless it's a good excuse to read more :-)

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  2. Vikings in outter space! I like that idea.

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  3. I think its a great way to reserch. Loved your ideas. :-D

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  4. Research is very important especially for writers. Loved your way of research.

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  5. I love doing research, but I often get sidetracked and lose focus--the internet does that sometimes. If I organized my research better it would be more effective, but just doing it is good mental exercise and the more I research, the more useful resources I continue to find.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  6. I'm with Arlee...I get sidetracked. Then information overload shuts down my brain. But like Tony, any excuse to read more!

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  7. I like learning about new things. Research also gives me new ideas I can use in my story, so it's like brainstorming with the internet!

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  8. How fun to research Vikings. I love doing research myself.

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  9. So far, from my extremely non-statistically-significant sample of one novel, I've not had to do much research. Much of the detail I included came from imagination or experience (for example, working in a large public service organisation) or plain bluff :D

    Although I love exploring new areas of knowledge, I'm dreading the day when I need to do so in earnest for a story, because my writing process is already way too slow and prone to distraction.

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  10. Tony! I know what you mean, waiting is hard for me too. But It makes it all the more fun once the studies are done! ;)

    Alex, thank you! I liked your take on it, great idea! I've used movies as well. Rock Star for example! :D

    Talha, thank you! :)

    Arlee--that's right! There's SO much info under a single topic, I have gotten side-tracked! But sometimes it's hard to find the meat of our topic because there's only bits here and bits there. It takes HOURS! Ugh...

    Ray, I take notes with the stuff that applies strictly to my work--even the stuff that sounds appealing and has no relation. I might just use it, too!

    Shari, so true! Learning is so invigorating, isn't it? *hugs* <3

    Angie, it's so fun learning, isn't it?

    Botanist, I hope you have a smooth transition when it comes down to it. If you ever need a research partner, I'd love to help you out on that. What helps me is to set aside specifically for research--writing on stop completely during this time so that I won't get confused. Think about the topic and the material you're in need of. Write the details down that apply (keeping track of the websites, movies, books or any reference you've used) for future use. Good luck!

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  11. I'm not good with research; I tend to leave it to the last minute, which doesn't help the plot! Lately, I've been making myself do research as I go and then setting time aside for it once a week. Must get better!

    Thank you for dropping by my blog and have a great weekend.

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  12. I love the research, although sometimes I get lost in it! I think my favorite was researching Sumerian language for my romance novel.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  13. Ellie! I do as I go along, too. I wonder if my novels sound choppy because of that? You know, islands of stuff that has been researched while the rest is characterization, internalization, plot... I have yet to ask my crit partners to review my work! O.O

    Laura, Sumerian language? Ooh, I'm interested in that. Could you share with us what you've learned? ;)

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  14. I agree, taking a lot in does help you live in that world for the book.

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  15. Jennifer, it does, doesn't it? It also makes me long for experiencing it firsthand as well. Thanks for stopping by! ;)

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  16. Research, that can be a pain in **. In the end you're always smarter though and I love learning new things. So I don't treat it as research, instead, I think of how interesting things are and what I will learn for myself from it (i need more common knowledge anyway).
    Nahno ∗ McLein

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  17. Oh! I don't want to fill your page, but the cuniform symbols, from the Sumerian and Akkadians, fascinate me. I sprinkled them throughout my book, including on the cover and as tattoos on one of my MCs.

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  18. Hi, Nahno! so true... It's a fun learning experience. It is not a chore, but a chance to expand horizons, and smarter at the end! Thanks for visiting! ;)

    Laura, wow! I think I'll run over and learn about Sumerian and Akkadians. I don't mind if you take up an entire page. Would I be demanding if I asked for you to write a post about this on your blog? *ducking* I am SO interested on the tattoo you gave your MCs--surely they symbolize a strength for each one? Thanks for opening my eyes for this and for your revisit! :D

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Disregard that last comment. LOL! You wanted me to write it on my blog, which negates the question I needed to ask you.
    I hadn't thought about doing that before, but since you asked... ;)
    It might be a few weeks, but I think I will!

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  21. I'm still a newbie, so I write about places and cultures I've personally experienced. I'm working on a sci-piece right now, which I'm thoroughly enjoying because I get to invent cool new technology and methods of police work just from my own head. I am looking forward to the day when I have the time (I homeschool) to research and learn about something new and write about that. I've always loved learning.
    And thanks Elizabeth for stopping by at Life is Good and for following.
    Tina

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  22. You're too young to know what card catalogs were, but they were the best thing to get the old noggin going. I would get sidetracked when doing some research for a college paper, but oh what things I found! Google and other search engines just aren't the same. There is something about physical proximity (fingertips touching the cards) that awakens the imagination. I hope libraries never go out of style, because those stacks of books hold the same potential.

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  23. I tend to do a lot of "informal google research" (think the bing commericla) when I procrastinate. I love the random tidbits of info.

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  24. Laura, you are full of mystery. You make me want to know more and more. Now I'm really curious of the question you had! I'm honored that you're planning to post it! Thank you SO much!!! *Hugs* Its okay about deleting your last comment--I do that a LOT, especially if I misspell, bad thing for writers, isn't it? ;)

    Tina! Wow, anyone who can write science fiction has my respect. I don't think it's an easy thing to do, though I find high fantasy very easy. Maybe it's almost the same, do you think? I really admire you that you homeschool! I've actually thought about doing it a few times myself, but I chicken out. I know that it is SO worth it because of all the yucky stuff that goes on in the public schools. *Sigh* There's NO doubt that you'll LOVE researching stuff for your books!! :)

    Walk--wow, I'm flattered that you think I'm way too young, thank you! *GRIN* But I do remember when I was in middle school, as a librarian's aide, I handled card catalogs. I know what you mean! Book stores are going out of style because of ebooks, I really hope and PRAY that libraries always stay in mode because it's a nice peaceful place to go to--even for children. It would be absolutely tragic if they ever do. :(

    Michelle, I think that's a wonderful idea! It's a fun, easy way to learn. It doesn't feel heavy and drawn out to do it that way. Thanks for sharing your method! :D

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  25. I haven't done that much research yet on the books I'm writing to be honest, at the moment I'm drawing on all in my brain . . . I'm writing a children's fantasy/adventure chapter book and a chick lit novella. I need to look into that.

    Thanks for being a new follower on my blog, I've followed you back too. I look forward to getting to know you here.

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  26. I love research. I love learning new things, but often research gives me inspiration to develop my story further, or even for a whole new story.

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  27. Sheila, thank you for following me! Wow, a children's fantasy/adventure chapter book? That sounds fun! I love those. Researching is like a quest an MC goes on, hunting for pieces of gold here and there to create the perfect talisman. ;)

    Lynda, so true! It's such a joy learning things along the way, isn't it? Thank you for dropping by and commenting! <3

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  28. I love researching in big university libraries--could spend days in there! :) Enjoyed your post!
    ~Scarlett

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  29. hi there (from a very lax crusader) i have been commenting as i go and phew what a lot of work.

    Can i just say that your blog is the prettiest one i have seen this afternoon. I LOVE this colour green off set with black. I have just done a post on my blog which mentions my general dislike of black blogs. yours is certainly the exception i was talking about. i love it.

    anyway enough gushing. happy crusading and my research is like yours, everywhere around me.

    Happy writing

    Sarah

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  30. Scarlett! Ahhh... Love that too! So quiet and there's something intellectual about being there, isn't there? Thanks for visiting! <3

    Sarah, welcome fellow crusader! Nice to meet you! Thank you for your nice compliments on my black and green blog. :) It is crazy, tracking down every one of Rachael's Crusaders, isn't it? I wouldn't worry about being lax, though, there's SO much to do, I'm sure everyone else is scrambling to try to keep up--there's just too many of us to keep track! All we can do is try! *Hugs* Thanks for dropping by and saying hi! :)

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  31. Ooooh, I love the sound of CHENGRAL, sounds like my genre :)

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