Thursday, September 09, 2010

Use Your Connections

Today, I’m over on The Blood-Red Pencil. I’m blogging about that possibly most hated chore of writers – researching. Even if you write only fiction, you end up having to do research since not everything can be made up. If you get things wrong, readers will catch it and you’ll lose credibility.

So how do you research? What sources do you use?

We turn to libraries, nonfiction books, newspapers and magazines, Wikipedia, and the Internet. We travel to places where our characters go or live. But while our characters may go off on a two-week cruise, we may not be able to afford that. So what then?

Zip over to The Blood-Red Pencil and read some of my ideas for research.

19 comments:

  1. You're an early riser, Alex.

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  2. Oh - I love research, Helen! I do far too much of it, in fact. But it is one of my favourite things about writing. :)

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  3. I love research too! It's like a guilt-free form of procrastination!

    Off to the blood-red pencil!
    Judy

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  4. Thanks for the tip. Great post!

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  5. I find myself researching a lot. I'll use library books, Wikipedia, and whatever I can find on the Internet. I e-mailed someone who knew how to speak Latin. When I had a medical question, I e-mailed Lydia Kang who does "Medical Mondays", to ask about losing eyes. She turns the questions into answer posts. Her blog is so helpful.

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  6. Thanks, Theresa. I hadn't heard of Medical Mondays.

    Yeah, you have to watch your research and not let it overtake you sometimes!

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  7. I love to research. It's my go-to time waster. I'm headed over to read your ideas.

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  8. I know what you're talking about, Carol. It's easy to get trapped in the discovery of new ideas and tidbits!

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  9. I went. I came back. I really enjoyed your post.

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  10. Research is the name of the game. Much of the full-time two year process to write my book was spent on research. I love it. Its fun and I never grow tired of learning new stuff.

    Hey, send me an email at golionssss@yahoo.com as I have your copy of Breakthrough (the re-edited version) ready to send to you for winning the Banner Caption contests from last month.

    Stephen Tremp

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  11. I think I'll be the odd bird and say I do not find myself to enjoy research. I like creating my own history and world.

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  12. Woo-woo Stephen!!

    Victoria, even to create a new world with its own history, you still have to research. But, you're right, you can make up rules that apply to that world alone.

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  13. I have always found people very willing to talk on the phone and have done phone interviews for a lot of stories. Not quite as good as talking in person, but the next best thing.
    When researching a topic and needing an expert, I have, again, found people willing to answer questions on the phone. And now with e-mail, they are often open to answering questions that way.

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  14. I love research (most of the time) I love learning new things. Often I go off on tangents and get even more story ideas :)

    Lyn
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

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  15. Maryann, good idea - phone interviews.

    Lyn, sometimes you learn things you'd never considered while doing research and it can indeed send you off in a new direction!

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  16. I went over and enjoyed your ideas, not just the old "visit your librarian," which of course always helps me.
    I have a friend who is the archivist for my college library; he's a great source.

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  17. On my way, I could use all the help I can get.

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