Monday, March 21, 2016

Research...You Mindless, Fickle Being

Writing fiction means you make up the rules. You create the world, the religions, the culture, the beliefs. You create the characters. You control everything.

Until you publish and you get criticized for the decisions you make. They say, "You didn't follow the rules." "That's not how it's supposed to be."

You could tell them all to screw off, that you make your own damn rules. But the things they say still hurt. The shiny accomplishment you wore is dulling out and you wonder how you can write again.

So maybe you decide to make facts work for you, instead of against. As I've said before, you can find anything on the internet. Doesn't always mean it is right. Here is where research comes into play. The book I'm working on now is a world of my own creation...inside reality. Basing fiction off real-life can be a hazardous road to walk.

The best and easiest thing to do is to find a reliable source. Books. Write a book using books.

Books are most definitely your best friend and knowing how to use them can make the research days of plotting seem like the calm before the storm (which it really is.)

For days I've been researching mythologies of all different types and origins, boats, languages, land mass, blahgity-blah.

I could easily go to Google and type in the terms I need. There's a 50/50 chance the info I find will be right or wrong. There's an even greater chance that someone will see this one fact in my book and tell me I got it wrong and then proceed to share 20 links to sites that tell me I'm wrong and he's right. So I beat him to it. Searching for an expert on the topic could lead to much more fruitful finds, and much less headaches.

Following some rules doesn't have to be painful. You can break all the rules you want and still appease the Fact police.


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