Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Research, Research, Research!

So, as I prepare for my newest novel I decided to post about research!

What is research? 

Well, it's obtaining knowledge. This can be for any reason, but for an author it's to make our work authentic! Something the reader can stick their teeth into and feel how real our work is. You have to research EVERYTHING. For me, a general rule of thumb is to know 100 things about my story world. By doing this, I should be able to make 100 different stories for my researched characters to go into. 

What do I use for research?

Anything I can find! 

I once made my husband stop at a rest stop so I could take pictures and analyze the area. I had a story scene in a similar location and wanted it to be authentic. I followed my brother once as he took pictures through urban areas of the city so I could see the process because I had a character who was into photography. 

I also use the internet. Sites like WebMD if my characters are sick or to look up how long it takes for an injury to heal.

For The Space Between, I watched many films documenting international adoptions of Asian American children and their experiences post adoption. I also studied the adoption process through the states and identified what countries do and don't allow international adoptions to the United States.

Here's one of the movies I rented for research of The Space Between. I found this one very moving, and the below clip that complements it.

What else is research good for?

One of the fabulous things I love about research is I'm learning new information that I can use in everyday life. Research helps me grow as an individual, and though it may be tedious and sometimes mind boggling, it's fulfilling to know what I'll get out of it in the end :D

Now, I ask you: What's your research process? Favorite websites? Things you love to learn? I want to hear it all!


Emily R. King said...

So true! I think research is part of the fun of plotting. You never know what ideas you'll get when you hit the Internet or library for info!

Yael said...

I really like the concept of knowing 100 things about your world. Maybe I'll try that too.

Victoria Smith said...

Exactly! It's such a fun and exciting process :D

Victoria Smith said...

I find it really helps me!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Research is important.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, Victoria. When writing for a specific place and date, I had to look up the exact weather conditions, phase of the moon, etc. It's all about getting those little details right to make the story gel.

Carrie-Anne said...

I write historical, so I have to do lots of research. Even with the eras and subjects I know like the back of my hand, there are always new things to learn. Some of my interests actually came about as a result of initially only researching them for my writing, like natural childbirth and the history of birth in America.

Kelley Lynn said...

One of my recent WIP needed a lot of research on space. Its fun, but it can totally hurt your head :) haha


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