Wednesday, July 06, 2011

My Favorite Topic- Research

Current Project: A little of everything
Status: Staying Sane
Research is my favorite thing about writing, and ultimately, the part that slows down the process the most. Like now. I'm waiting to get more information about logging in a particular area so I can begin the final plotting(yes, even though I'm a seat of the pants writer I need to know how the historical information will figure into the story and either use the knowledge for character development, plot, or just historical accuracy.

I have a good friend who has been with me on my journey to getting published. She isn't a writer but an avid reader. When we go out to lunch (usually once a month) she asks me about the book I'm working on and when I start discussing the research I'm doing or need, she always comments, "I love how your books convey all the information you dig up without me even knowing it."

That is the comment I like to hear. If I can condense my hours of research down into my book to where it enhances without pulling the reader out I'm a happy novelist!

And I explore all avenues I can think of. My heroine in the next book is Norwegian so I am ready a book on Norwegian folktales. You never know when something in there will jump out and say I need a spot in your book. I did that with the Nez Perce myth and legends. Including a little bit of a legend in each of the books.

Since this next book is about logging, I'm going to try and highlight little known things about loggers into the story rather than the usual knowledge or myths that most people think of about loggers.

How about you...Do you read for pure entertainment or do you like to finish a book and have been entertained and learned something new?


Sarah Raplee said...

I love learning new things from the books I read.

BTW, you probably know this, but there is a Logging Museum at Camp 18 on Hwy. 26 near Elsie in the Coast Range (about an hour from PCC where we have RCRW meetings.) The sign says to call ahead for a tour. There's a nice restaurant there too.

And there's a Forestry Center I haven't visited yeet by the Portland Zoo - don't know if they cover logging. And there's a great free forestry and logging center on the way to the Mount Saint Helens Observation Station (with picnic tables and a kids' playground.)

Paty Jager said...

Hi Sarah, Yes, I have plans to check out Camp 18 in the near future. But my story will take place on the other side of the state and that's the info I'm still digging up.

Thanks for the other info.

Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Paty! I like to learn new things as I'm entertained. :)

You always seem to do a great job with research. I enjoy research up to a point, then I want to jump in and write the story--one of the reasons I stick to contemporary stories.

"I love how your books convey all the information you dig up without me even knowing it." So right that this is truly a compliment!

daniel pattinson said...

I have been looking for this kind of book.Really find interesting and insightful.Everything else you describe, makes it seem like a book I'd love.I loved this book for the beauty of the writing.!
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Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Daniel.