Today I welcome author Stephen Tremp!
Writers love to write. It is the research that some are not prepared to do.
Ultimately, when one performs research, they should want to add to an existing body of knowledge (BOK), that is, a set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a particular domain. Of course, no one will ever complete an existing BOK. They can only add something new to it while leaving suggestions for further research that they or someone else can perform.
Problem: Often writers cannot perform research simply because they are unable to. They do not have the proper resources. Solution: research the research of others (and give them credit).
Example: I’m an author who writes action Near Future Sci-Fi action. I have to have at least a basic working knowledge of physics. Problem: Sometimes we just don’t have access to the necessary resources to carry out adequate research. I don’t have a particle accelerator in my garage (which would be most helpful). Solution: I have to research the research of other people. I read a lot of books on physics and some of the greatest scientific minds, dead and alive. And I read peer reviewed articles, which is the subjecting of an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. So I use their research. And I remember to give them credit.
Here’s on exercise: make two lists. One of topics you would like to research and one people who have a deep understanding of such topics. Then, go to YouTube. Example: I type in a subject like CERN, Large Hadron Collider, theoretical physics. Or a person like Alan Guth (theoretical physicist and cosmologist at M.I.T). I also use Google Earth, yearly weather reports, and customer reviews. Honestly, there is so much information available at my fingertips, the biggest struggle I have is sorting through the wealth of information and eliminating data.
As fiction writers, there are a number of areas you should have a basic working knowledge, such as criminology and forensics. A great example of a blogger who performs her due dillegence in research is Clarissa Draper. Example: go to her Web site and in the SEARCH BOX type in Forensics or Poison, then scroll to the top of the blog. There you will find well researched and detailed posts (with sources) regarding guns, autopsies, how a corpses deteriorates under certain conditions, blood stains and patterns, rigormortis and time of death, and other relevant and very interesting topics.
In this day of real time information and people’s fascination with everything CSI, you will need to present your events in a manner that is accurate, insightful, and is also a great place to plant clues for later use in the story. Be sure you use reliable sources. Just because you see something explained on CSI doesn’t mean it’s necessarily accurate. You will need to be, as our hostess Diane claims, be scary organized.
Please join me Friday as I visit Karen Gowan at Coming Down From The Mountain as we wind down the final tour stop of my Virtual Blog Tour 2010! And discuss “Write Another Book, For Pete’s Sake!”.
Breakthrough . You can visit Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs where Breakthrough is available for purchase and download to all eReaders.