Sunday 12 June 2011

The fun of research

Or in my case, the fun of choosing a subject you don't have to research. Alas, I have to research, and it's hurting my brain.

To recap a little: my current WIP that I'm writing for the 80,000 in 80 days challenge is heavily influenced by the characters' reaction to the news. Fine. Except, I need to go back to 2004. I'm currently trying to find out what happened in late 2007, early 2008. But, and this makes it worse, just the bad bits. I can find lots of news, but I need devastating news. (I know this doesn't sound like the most optimistic novel you'll ever read, but I'm sure there are more depressing ones out there.) I find myself disappointed when all that happened was an election or a state visit.

I normally don't research. I think I've mentioned this before. My characters all live in a tiny bubble for the duration of the novel/short story without any outside influence. This, I decided, probably makes them very 2-dimensional; and I wanted to fix it and make the characters in my new novel more rounded. The problem with this remit for research is it's so broad. Usually - I suspect, having never done it - writers research how to blow glass because a character is a glass blower. Or when a particular flower blossoms, so they don't confuse their seasons.

Researching everything that has happened in the course of a five year period is overwhelming to say the least. I'm starting to think my normal avoidance of the outside world is much more preferable.


  1. Ouch, Talk about setting yourself a challenge! I guess 80K in 80 days wasn't enough :)

  2. In my head, it didn't start out to be that complicated. I already had the first scene and a character in mind, before the challenge started. And neither had anything to do with current news. These things grow though, don't you find?


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