Thursday, August 26, 2010

Research Happens

No matter what, just like death, taxes and manuscript revisions, research is inevitable. Especially when you're a writer. No matter how well you know a subject it's always best to check your sources. So here's what I'm up to nowadays.

First out of the box -- the research for my panels at Dragon*Con. What, you say? Research for a panel? Don't you wing it?" It really depends on the panel. Some I can, others require my nose in a book or some surfing on the Internet. I research the panel topic because I have no desire to look like a complete idiot in front of a roomful of people. Who will tell their friends. And their pets. And all of Facebook that Jana is *cough* dense. Hence the homework.

Currently, I'm collecting data for my Myth and Reality of Victorian London panel, digging through my extensive collection of Victorian tomes to tease out just the right (and hopefully intriguing) facts. The Face of the Demon panel has me scrabbling for all my demon/Fallen angel reference books, along with some of the fiction that has defined demons over the centuries. The other panels require less research, which is a blessing.

And I'm researching tattoos (the history of) for an essay I'm writing for an upcoming BenBella SmartPop anthology on the House of Night series (by my buds P.C. and Kristin Cast). Fascinating subject, tattooing. Now I just have to boil all the info (and the HoN lore) down to less than 5K words.

Finally, there's the history of Lucifer, from the first appearance of hasatan (The Adversary) in the Hebrew Bible all the way through the New Testament and Lucifer's metamorphosis into Satan. That research has me parsing Jewish, Christian and Muslim resources. Some aren't that easy to understand, but as long as I get the drift of the commentary, I'm good.

All of this research will spill over into my writing, of course. Even the Victorian bits though I'm not writing about that time period. There's an "additive" effect when you conduct research -- it sparks the brain cells, gets you thinking in new directions. And more times than not, that leads to a another story idea.

So what are you researching at present? The history of stamp collecting? How to balance a plate on your head? Come on, don't be shy. We really want to know.


Sandy said...

I haven't done any researching in a while because I don't write all that often but today I did discover that Rhode Islands is indeed not an island, spring chicken is a Cornish Game Hen or if you are in Jamaica a frog is referred to as spring chicken xD and that a lady actually regrew her pinkie in 7 weeks o.o she had science helping her but still lol.

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