Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Do I Know?

Yesterday, I talked about how boring my fiction would be if I took "Write what you know" literally.

Literature would be so boring if we could only write what we've personally experienced, right?

So here's what I know.

I know how to do research.  And today I'm going to share with you my process for the research I did on Lodestar.

In the beginning was an idea.  I had this tickle of an idea to write a paranormal story.  I knew I didn't want to write about vampires or werewolves.  There are plenty of stories cornering that market.  Besides, neither has ever much interested me.

So I set about doing my legwork.  First, I turned to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythical Creatures for ideas of a type of paranormal to write about.

My list came out at 8 classifications of creature.  Angels, elves, fairies, leprechauns, mermaids, nymphs, pixies, and sprites.

I took this list to Wikipedia.  I know, not a great source, but it worked.  I looked up each one in the encyclopedia and read all the entries.  I narrowed my list further and further until I came up with my top 3 finalists: angel, fairies, and elves.

Then I left the possibility to simmer before further research could be done.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next step in my research.


  1. I love letting the ideas simmer, though I usually call it fermenting. I think a lot of people skip that step.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. (sorry, major typo on the deleted comment)

    Yep, good to simmer (or "ferment" as Bethany mentioned). You are SO right--there are plenty of books on vampires and werewolves, contrary to what lovers of those types of books think! Angels, fairies or elves, huh? There are a fair amount of those around too, but it depends on YOUR unique twist. :)

  4. That's so funny you've been researching. I've been doing the same thing trying to write about a different mythological creature. I just ordered Katherine Briggs' encyclopedia used as it is out of print. Can't wait to get it.

  5. Hey Stephanie, So true about not taking the "Write what you know" rule too literally.

    I'm sending some Bloggy Awards your way too. The Versatile Blogger and Stylish Blogger awards :)

    Check this post for details.


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