Sunday, September 11, 2016

Research Record 9/2/16 - 9/8/16

I remember reading a Michael Crichton novel when I was younger and thinking, "These details seem really specific and accurate. How the hell does he know all this stuff?"

Later in life I learned that authors who want any sort of authenticity in their writing have to do a shit-ton of research. Later still, I experienced it myself.

the dream team
When I wrote A Sawmill's Hope, it was largely about subjects with which I'm familiar, hiking, rivers, ruins, camping, etc. The monsters I wrote were based on years of unintentional research, then some intentional research. For the alchemy in the book, mostly contained to the chapters involving Seltys, I stopped writing for months, while I journeyed to the corners of the internet to study alchemy (see this particularly useful hub).

**Actually, I just remembered a disturbing path my research took during ASH. Darke needed to know the best way to kill prey with a projectile weapon. My most useful resource was here- Mechanics of Terminal Ballistics. I'm pretty sure all the research I did on this subject boiled down to two lines of text on the second page of the book.**

So, here and now.

I want a way to keep up with what I research, and when I researched it, and why. Maybe it'll be interesting to more than just me. If it catches on, I'm going to make semi-regular posts, maybe weekly. I'm filtering out all researched topics that aren't writing related. If I'm able to make this regular, I'll probably come up with a better format. Til then -

Research Record 9/2/16 - 9/8/16

Googled - 

"Bin Laden Quotes" - Because I'm writing a character who zealously believes in mass murder as an acceptable course of action.
"Define Eulogy"
"Squid with a Shell"
"Giant endoceras"
"Drop bears" - This is a hilarious concept. Check it out.
"Define Litany"
"Ancient Hawaii"

Wikipedia'd - 

Cameroceraus - "Squid with a shell", and "Giant endoceras" led me here.
Moonshine - The tribes of Ausgan (a nation in Turesia) make their own whiskey.

Books Referenced -

"Plants in Hawaiian Culture" Beatrice Krauss
"Garden Ethnobotanical Guide to Native Hawaiian Plants" Amy Greenwell
"Hawai'i's Birds and their Habitats" H. Douglas Pratt
"Reef Fish Hawai'i" John P. Hoover

I'd be interested to know your research habits, be it for writing or not! 


  1. Squid with a shell. Sounds like when I was researching sea kelp.

  2. I'm always looking for obscure firsthand accounts, as they often give me info no other source can provide.

    1. Nice. That's a good idea.

      For my current work in progress, I'd have to find a native of Hawaii from ancient times, or some equivalent of that.

  3. I'm always researching stuff. I had to do a bunch of research when I was looking for early-era film cowboys, and found one that intrigued me (Jack Hoxie) who became more fascinating the more I looked into him. But a lot of my research has nothing to do with my writing (at the moment), just stuff I want to know more about. Hey, the Internet isn't just a place to talk how much I love or hate things!

    1. Very cool.

      Yeah, I do like studying unfamiliar, interesting subjects online. I'd call it learning but that really only applies if the things I read about stick. I've spent a lot of time studying a subject, only to bring it up to a friend and realize I'm just as clueless as I was before studying it (case in point - string theory).
      I fall into Wikipedia wormholes quite often.

  4. This can prevent you from enjoying the good things in your life right now.satta king


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