Monday, October 6, 2014
Research, research, research!!
With Nano quickly approaching I think we should talk about research. I know a lot of writers like to just write as many words as possible during Nano and then worry about the small things later, but not me. I know Nano is suppose to be writing abandonment but I have to keep my facts straight so therefor I research. Some years I like to print a bunch of pictures off, both of character and places, other years I wing it, this year I think I am going to do a little of both. Because I try to set my stories in real life places I need to check things out to make sure I know what I am talking about. For example this book is going to be set in the Idaho Territory, one year post Civil War. Well, just because I live in Idaho doesn't mean I know everything about the Idaho Territory. Did you know that up until 1860 Idaho was part of the Old Washington Territory, in 1861 in became the Nebraska Territory and in 1863 in became the Idaho Territory. It's a good think I figured this all out because if the book had been set any time before 1863, I would have been calling it the wrong thing. There is a good deal more information that I have found during my studies and anyone who is reading my book, and enjoys history would appreciate my exactness. So, in my opinion, research is a fundamental element in my Nano writing. I have also learned more about the Civil War than I knew at first. It has been interesting to read about why things happened, not just that they happened. It helps me understand characters that I might encounter during my writing. I would, at that time, be considered a Yankee, but that doesn't mean that I don't need to understand the sympathies of a Confederate Solder. Their cause was just as important to them as it was to the North. I think it is important, that even though we are writing about fictitious people in a fictitious story that we give them real life attributes and understandings, that is what makes them relatable in our lives. A lot of time we write about things we know, but we can only have so many life experiences. Sometimes we need to write about what we don't know personally about, but can experience through our characters perspective. Don't be afraid to research something and then write about it, that is how we learn and grow as authors. In the long run I am just giving you a suggestion of how I approach Nano. Research is an integral part of that process for me. If you interested in something, read about it, learn about it, then write about it, it will give a better understanding of whatever it is you may be wanting to learn about. Good luck, and my the force be with you!