Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Give-Aways & Researching Your Writing Project

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Have you met your "Book Buying" list? (I have, yippee!) Have you finished baking all those goodies you promised yourself you'd actually bake this year?

Need a pashmina scarf? Someone have it on their Christmas list? Barbara, blogger of The Serenity Gate, is having a contest to win. Head over and take a look, very cozy and warm over on that blog (and lots of Christmas music, too!) I just recently found her thanks to my blogging/writer friend, Janna, and will definitely be visiting on a weekly basis! She's just adorable.

Other Christmas goody news, for those of you worrying about how your pitch sounds, Jessica Faust of BookEnds, LLC, is giving her Christmas present out as pitch critique's. I didn't post mine, simply because it's more than one paragraph, but for those that are clever and have widdled theirs down, give it a go and good luck!

And lastly, I have to ask just how much research do you put into your work-in-progress before you dive into it head first? I'm a hopeless planner, I can't help it, but I also think at times it holds me back. I have at least 2 books I feel I *have* to read before I begin typing madly my first draft of Untitled YA fantasy. I know once I get into the routine I'll be able to finish the first draft in no time (I do happen to type 85 wpm, yeehaw!) but it's the "getting there" that I'm slow going on. Anyone else have this problem? I didn't with my first, simply because I made up my own world, so the world building came easily for me. I created it, wrote things down, and then started writing, making sure to take notes whenever something new occurred in my world so I could stay consistent.

Well, I'm off to hopefully catch a short nap. This eighth month of pregnancy is killing me both energy-wise, and my back (ug). And then I'm hoping to finish editing video. It's taking forever!


  1. Oo, hope nap helps. (Just had one myself.) Great post full of good info. :)

  2. With my WIP, I researched by taking a class on geology, then dove right in as soon as I'd finished my other book. Every so often I have to look up geology terms (deltas and all that) but yes, I had a horrible time getting started too. I never did figure out what the problem was; I had all the pieces in place, just couldn't pick up steam. Still have trouble with it now too. I just keep telling myself without a first draft, I have nothing to edit/fix/tweak, so I have to get SOMETHING down in order to make it better. I actually just did a video blog along these lines (not to shamelessly plug myself or anything).

    My advice: force it. Not always fun, but until you get through that first draft, you won't have anything to work with. In the process of first-drafting, you'll come across what you need to research more too.

  3. “Anyone else have this problem? I didn't with my first, simply because I made up my own world, so the world building came easily for me.”

    Even when I make up my own world, I find I need to do research, though that’s partly because my stories have a scientific theme in a fantastic world and partly because I like making them as authentic as possible. But the research usually comes after the story begins.

    In one, I had a dragon who was insane (paranoid schizophrenia, I believe), so after he was introduced into the story I went looking for examples of how people with that condition might speak and think and behave. Until the story was in motion, I didn’t know the exact details of how the dragon came to be like that, or which characters would experience which different facets of his madness.

    I found some good articles on the Internet and read them over and over so many times that it finally felt as if I was going nuts too. I just wish I had the kind of personality that allowed me to make cold calls easily – you know, where you call up some expert on the subject and invite them to lunch. I’ve never felt comfortable doing that. :(

  4. Thought I'd finished Christmas shopping till my teenage son's friends brought him presents last night and they were two of what I'd already bought him. And one of them was a book. Rrrrr twice over. What are the freaking odds?

  5. I tend to research as I go along. Like, when I was describing a turtle, I googled it and looked at pictures to help me.

    I don't do research beforehand, usually.

  6. Angie, Thank you love!

    Sara, I have to agree I think. I plan on forcing it in the next week or so. Definitely by the beginning of the year.

    Marian, very cool! I never had to do very in depth research for L&H, but I did when it came to Latin and the spells. And terrains. I did a lot of research about caves and stuff. It's a good thing by brother grew up in Carlsbad, New Mexico (they have the caverns there) he knew a lot and helped me out as well. But yeah, I don't think I'm to the point of having the guts to ask an expert or anything. Besides, researching is fun!

    Sharla, gah! How frustrating! One lady in front of me in line today got upset cause her kid came back to join her in line (she was trying to sneakily purchase gifts for him lol). I wish I could've helped her, but I really didn't know what to do.

    Jill, I hear ya. I typically don't do research before hand either. But this particular piece has a bunch of mythology (and not just Greek) that I'm not totally familiar with, so I think if I read more about it it will help me mold my plot better.


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