I’ve always loved learning new things. Years ago, when I first set out to write a book, I didn't know I’d be researching topics like: plot arc’s, pacing, platforms, etc…It's been very enlightening and mostly fun. :)
What has been even more fun though, is how many totally obscure things I’ve learned about. Here is a handful of things I’ve picked up in the course of writing:
|Concept art of the Multiverse|
|Garden of Eden|
How to pickpocket someone.
Where the Garden of Eden is thought to be located.
As my characters go down different roads, so do I. I can’t travel those roads without knowing the landscape that surrounds me. That necessitates a lot of research—most of which will never be in the book-but will enrich it in subtle ways. Whether I want to write a fact that can be verified, or a description that's realistic, I’ve found research to be an inescapable part of writing.
I remember the time my characters decided that their escape route should be through the tunnels of New York. A Google Image search of the tunnels turned up the book, “The Mole People—Life in the Tunnels beneath New York City.” It turns out that there are hundreds of people that live in the abandoned tunnels and subway stations under NY. Not only was the book really interesting, but I could definitely see one of those people becoming a very cool character in one of my stories.
Then, while looking into Amazon reviews on The Mole People, I happened to see that the author had written another book: Orphans of the Living: The Story of America's Children in Foster Care. Since every story I’ve written somehow ends up including a teenager who has grown up in foster care, that book immediately caught my eye.
Although nothing from that book will ever make it into my novel, I ordered it anyway—as a way of knowing my characters on a deeper level and bringing more authenticity to them.
I just love how many different paths writing takes me down, and how I end up learning about things that I never even thought about.
So, how about you guys? Do you like to research? Hate it? What’s an exciting topic you discovered while writing your novel? What was the most boring thing you were forced to look into? The most bizarre? The one that changed your book the most? Tell me about some of them...