Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Chain: Research

It's blog chain time and I'm a day late, thanks to some procrastination on my part and Blogger deciding to quit working as soon as I sat down to post this last night. *shakes fist at Blogger*

Michelle M chose the topic this round. She asked:

There are so many things we have to include in our storyworlds...characters, world details, settings, etc. No matter what genre you write, your stories are full of tiny details that help create your storyworld. I know that for me, at least, finding or creating all these details can sometimes be a bit tough.

Where do you go for help? And what types of things are you more likely to research/search for as opposed to making up on your own? Do you have any favorite resource sites? Share links if you have them!!

Honestly, the only thing I can remember researching for my writing is the moon. And then I just googled something along the lines of “how far is the moon from earth” and “what are the names of the seas on the moon.” Really important stuff. ;)

And once I knew how far away the moon is (225,622 to 252,088 miles), I got curious about the other planets. I didn’t get much done on my writing that day, but I learned a lot about distances and the way the planets move around the sun and other stuff I don’t really need to know.

Oh, and I searched on Google to find out if that old belief about only using a small percentage of our brains is true. Which, from what I could find, it isn’t true, in case you were wondering. And that warranted a small change in my ms.

For the most part, I prefer to make stuff up, which is probably why I write science fiction with elements of fantasy. It’s much easier to come up with my own reality that way.

Most of my “research” is about grammar and punctuation. And for that I use Google. You all know that one, right? So I don’t need to include the link? ;)

What about you? Do you do a lot of research? Do you have any favorite resource sites?

Be sure to check out Christine’s post from Tuesday and Sandra’s post today. :)


  1. Yes, that's one drawback to online research: it's so easy to get sidetracked with following link after link until you've run out of writing time!

  2. I tend to do lots and lots of research, but I think that's because of what I like to write about. I always have to research more about my premise, because it's usually based in science. And then I research for my characters as well, even experimenting with their hobbies. I love the research part, I have to admit!

  3. You know I'm a research whore. I get sidetracked easily, too. And I have to resist the urge to include all the cool tidbits I've learned that have absolutely no bearing on the story (Herman Melville, take note).

    What's fun about my current project is that I can change whatever I want as long as it makes sense. Alternate Histories FTW!

  4. For my romantic suspense, I use Google a lot because things need to be realistic, correct. But for my SciFi, I have a bit more discretion, especially with my world building. But the cultural issues and genetic issues go back to real things again.

  5. I will admit that like Tere, I am kind of a research biggest danger - using it as a procrastination!

  6. Ha, ha, yeah that is the trouble with online research, it is very easy to have writing time become internet browsing time.

  7. That is one bad thing about doing research - distraction. It's easy to get lost in all the really neat stuff we can learn while we're looking for what we really need to learn for our stories.

  8. Ha! I love Google. It's my go to for everything. Very interesting about the brain. I did not know that!