Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Research??

I've done a bit of research in the course of writing my works in progress. They're "historical" fantasy, stories set in my versions of colonial and civil war era America. I slogged through books on the French and Indian War, women in the colonial era, collections of letters by settlers in Minnesota, and more websites than I can count. Hopefully the facts I've collected will make my worlds deep and stable enough to hold my stories.

Are you a researcher or do you create your worlds out of whole brain-cloth? How do you organize your research or inspirations?

1 comment:

Laura Bradley Rede said...

I love the kind of "research" that sparks story ideas, by which I mean randomly reading nonfiction that interests me and jotting down the facts that grab me ("There were over 30,000 werewolf sightings reported in France in the 1600's? Cool!") I keep a seperate notebook for these facts, and when I run into interesting related facts that might belong in the same story, I cluster them around the original fact until they reach critical mass and I have an urge to write a story. I haven't done the extensive research for a story that you describe, Norma, but I'm sure I will. The only kind of research I don't like is the "fill in the blanks" kind (I'm happily writing about people being zombified and buried alive when I realize that I don't know what plants would be blooming in Haiti in May, so I have to leave a blank spot and fill it in later. The joy of writing YA stuff is that some research can be done on the phone with my teenage niece("Quick! Name a queercore band with a cute guy singer!" "What is the lamest song a band could play at prom?")