Thursday, June 21, 2012


Not the most imaginative title I've ever come up with, I grant you. But it's on my mind and it's such a boring topic that really there's no better fit.

I'm currently in the throes of researching for the next book I was planning to write. And it's killing me. I mean, a slow, painful death at the hands of the driest words to ever have been crafted (save for perhaps Heart of Darkness, Wuthering Heights, or The Great Gatsby).

Every so often I pull this story idea out of the dust bin and attempt to do the research necessary for plotting the story. And when I do I'm immediately reminded of one of the many reasons the idea was shelved in the first place.

When I was working on Lodestar (thought I'd never mention that one again, didn't you? Ha!), I never had this much trouble getting into the research. The research for that one was actually quite interesting. I mean, researching the Air Force, astronomy, and NASA. And really most of that research on NASA and the Air Force got cut in subsequent drafts because it was bogging the story down.

Now I'm researching and it's draining me. And weighing on me. I'm nigh to shelving the project again, only this time burning all the materials so I can never go back to the idea.

I think what's hardest for me in all this research is what I'm researching. The sequel and the sequel's sequel won't be much better. Why? Because I got this crazy idea in my head that instead of dealing with the cultural history of the West (Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome through to Britain and America), I'd deal with the cultural history of Scandinavia (book 1), Russia (book 2), and Japan (book 3). (Book 3 also at one point was supposed to deal with Ireland, but then I changed my mind.)

Someone take away my parenthesis privileges.

The problem with that? I have no base line of knowledge that I'm starting with so diving into any book I might pick up in the name of research means I'm lost from word one.

Not fun.

I think I'll just go retreat into my fantasy worlds where I control the shape and landscape of everything. And I know all the history because I created it.


  1. I totally get this. I was going to write a novel where the MC was Native American, but then I realized I might be offending a group of people I love and I would really have to do my homework before I started playing with their traditions. Not an easy task. I say if the research is dragging you down, it isn't worth it!

    1. It can be so hard with something like that. You don't want to offend, you want to do it justice, and it can feel so overwhelming. Sadly, no matter how much research you do there will always be people who will rip you apart if you play too much.

  2. You think The Great Gatsby was dry????!!! Oh, my dear, that's one of my top favorite books of all time. I swear it's pure genius. Can we still be friends? Hehehe. I at least hear you about the research. I remember getting to a point on my CURSE research that I though, "I will never, ever write historical-anything again!

    Stick with it! The books sound really fun. :)

    1. We can still be friends. I ahd to read the book in 11th grade. There are three books I remember from that year in English: Huck Finn, Gatsby, and "A Thief of Time" by Tony Hillerman. I hated the first two and loved the third. Everyone else in my class loved the first two and hated the third. I have fully accepted that my literary tastes lay polar opposite popular opinion quite often.

      I'm at that point on the research for this book. Thanks for your sweet words.


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