Monday, November 4, 2013

Researching While Writing

I write fantasy novels.  So what would I need to research?  Basically, I create, right?

Well, sometimes.

I still create worlds that have the same physicality as the earth. I think I’ve had to learn something different for every single one of my novels.

For my Black Novel, I spent an entire winter break doing electricity projects with my dad (an electrical engineer) because of my characters uses electricity in the form of magic.  I’m not even sure how much information I actually gleaned, but I appreciate all of the information that my dad was willing to share with me.  And while I researched, I realized many thing that worked for my plot and improved it.

For my Red WIP, I researched home improvement.  I actually scared my husband because I went to the library and checked out every DIY home improvement books.  He was afraid I’d try to tear the apartment apart.  I barely know how to use a hammer, let alone anything more complicated.  I had to take notes, but in the few scenes that it came up, I feel fairly confident that it sounds accurate.  Hopefully my readers will feel the same.

For my NaNoWriMo novel, I had to learn about stone masonry.  Rowel spends quite a bit of the beginning traveling with stone masons, and ironically, the skill comes in handy later.  Something I only figured out once I learned what stone masonry is really about.  To research this particular skill, I ended up watching a 50 minute documentary on YouTube where they went through everything.  I may not be able to lay stones or bricks myself, but I now know what joints are, as well as how to create cement. 

Am I interested in any of these things?  Not really.  If it comes to science, I’m much more interested in biology than physics.  I might be interested in learning how to fix things though, if I ever get my own house.  And laying brick, well, now I’m interested to try it out if I ever get the chance.  Just to learn. 

Have your characters ever encouraged you to learn something new?  Do you enjoy the research part of writing?