Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Research and Your Audience Featuring: The Geico Cavemen!

Hello, all!  Well to start off today's post I would like you to watch one of my FAVORITE commercials featuring the Geico Cavemen above!

So what does this post have to do with the Geico Cavemen you may ask?  Well Geico made these two Cavemen pretty perturbed when they ran a commercial without bothering to research if Cavemen existed, thereby offending the whole Caveman Community!

The same goes in writing, my friends.  Research and how it effects audiences.  Author's don't want to offend their audiences so they always research, research, research to not play on stereotypes or cliches.

Now in the writing world they say you should always "write what you know" first and foremost.  So that's what I do personally.  My stories will pretty much always be set in the Midwest or at least feature a character who has lived there at one time in their lives because that's what I know!  I've lived there my whole life so I feel that that's a great starting point from me.  But what do you do to supplement that with things that you don't know to get your story really amped up with variety?  RESEARCH!!!

I call my friends, social network, head to the library, google, and all kinds of things to make sure everything in my stories can be the best that they can be portrayed to wide audiences and I love the process.  I find out so many cool things about the world and how it works through the eyes of my characters.  Heck, I grow as much as them :D  I use my writing to explore new worlds, customs, and environments that I otherwise would have never been able to be introduced to before!

Now I ask you?  What's your research process?  Is there a common theme to your writing as well like my connection to my good ole' Midwestern roots?  I'd love to here it!



Carrie Butler said...

Midwestern NA sisters unite! :D

jaybird said...

I cringe sometimes at the Google searches in my history- if I wasn't researching for my WIP, someone might take it in a VERY wrong way. LOL I like to interview people, go to the library and READ up on some subjects, I like to take info gathering trips just to get some first hand knowledge of people/places I'm including in one of my books.

Holley Trent said...

I try to write what I know, but every now and then I'll end up with a character who works in some obscure profession or has a hobby I don't know much about. I also have a lot of Native American characters in my stories and I have to be careful to make distinctions between tribes and groups because it's just really disrespectful to treat the cultures as one homogeneous thing.

I do a lot of Googling, a lot of stalking on genealogy message boards, and sometimes I ask people weird questions straight-out (e.g. "So, in your personal opinion as a drag queen, would you sing this song on stage?).

Summer Lane said...

I live in California so I try to write about places I'm familiar with, like LA and Hollywood and the mountains, I guess. (I really need to travel out of state someday!) I write what I'm comfortable writing. What I'm familiar with. I do a lot of googling! (Way too much, actually!!!) I used to try and write about other places but I discovered the hard way to keep my writing in my "range" so to made it more believable.

Daisy Carter said...

I do my research during my first draft. I start with what I know, even if I only know a little, and then make lists of what I'll need to find out as I go. From there, I start with the internet and the library and any contacts I have that may help. Usually, I get what I need that way. But I've gone so far as to call hospitals to ask questions and even the military! I was surprised how nice people were, and how willing they were to answer questions. Then again, I ran into a few...not-so-helpful people, too!



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