A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blog Chain - You Sure About That? Look It Up!

Ha Ha!  I tricked you all, doing TWO blog posts today instead of my usual one.   Okay, truth be told, I was supposed to get this one up yesterday.  Unfortunately, a bad sunburn from my motorcycle ride on the 4th and re-injuring the ligaments near my elbows made typing an impossibility.  I'm mostly recovered though, so this is a catch-up blog chain post.

The ever-awesome Michelle McLean has asked us an interesting question:

There are so many things we have to include in our storyworlds...characters, world details, settings, etc. No matter what genre you write, your stories are full of tiny details that help create your storyworld. I know that for me, at least, finding or creating all these details can sometimes be a bit tough.

Where do you go for help? And what types of things are you more likely to research/search for as opposed to making up on your own? Do you have any favorite resource sites? Share links if you have them!!

Research is one area of writing that I both love and hate.  I get to learn some really cool stuff, but it can be agonizing and time-consuming.  I haven't had tons of experience with researching for creative writing, but I've found it really necessary for the last couple things I've started.

On one of my WiPs, I am creating a post-apocalyptic world so I have to do research about all kinds of things from how much pollution people create by breathing in and out to what the effect is on a population when they are contained in a bubble.  The story also heavily involves genetics, so I'm hoping to take an actual tour of a genetics lab and get a look at the equipment.  For this story, so far I've been using the Internet.  I realize though, that later on I'll need to do some direct research like the tour.

I have another story that involves mythological characters, so for that one I reached out to a fellow writer.  Xixi had mentioned an interest in studying Greek mythology, and she was really helpful.  I had some questions regarding the Fates and she was able to clear up how they have historically been depicted.  This was useful, because now I know how far I can twist them so that they're uniquely depicted but still recognizable.

I can't say I have any favorite sites to share, but I will say that if you're looking for information on Sci-fi stuff, read fellow blog-chainer Sandra's blog.  She is a wealth of scientific information, and she shares interesting tidbits with us all the time.

Where do you look for research as you write?  I'm the last on the chain this time around and we're all taking a short break until August or so (from blog chain entries, anyway).  Make sure you stop by Michelle McLean's blog so you can follow the chain and read everyone's answers.  


Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Eric! Let me know if I can help you out with genetics. Although I'm in a different type of lab now, I did some research in a genetics lab while I was in undergrad.

Jasmine Walt said...

When writing my YA novel a few years back I did bits of research on swords and ships and such-like, but I didn't really need a whole bunch that I needed to delve into huge texts or articles for it.

The one thing that I always have trouble with and that I can never find a really good resource for is architectural terms-- there are so many types of windows, roofs, walls, staircases, styles, etc and I can only find general descriptions. It's almost impossible to find a specific term for a specific piece I'm trying to describe. I guess I'll have to make friends with an architect so I can pick their brains out!

DEZMOND said...

I love me both sf and mythology and I often need info on both when I have to translate such books, but my personal knowledge of that field usually helps me a lot.

Margie Gelbwasser said...

Your topics are so interesting! Touring a genetic lab--pretty cool! Hope you're ok after the accident. Motorcycles scare me.

Eric said...

Sandra - I will definitely keep you in mind. Thanks for offering to help.

Jasmine - I can't say I've ever chatted with anyone about architecture, but I could see that being very useful.

Dezmond - Thanks for stopping by. I also have a lot of interest in those areas, but I'm not as well read as some. Thankfully, there's quite a few nice writers out there who don't mind helping me out LOL.

Margie - I probably didn't state it right, but I didn't have an accident per say. I just seem to have some physical issues because of a long ride. No worries though, I'll be better soon enough.