Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Power of Research

           While writing fiction—especially fantasy, you may think that there isn’t much research to be done. I mean, everything can be magical right? You don’t really have to know how a lock works—except I did when most of my characters now how to pick them.

Or maybe you THINK you know something, like if your character gets a concussion, they’re not supposed to fall asleep because they could never wake up again—which is wrong by the way. See how foolish I would have looked to someone who knew the truth, if I had one of my characters get a concussion and the doctor tell his friends not to let him sleep—the exact opposite of what the doctor would actually say? 

                This is why doing your research is important. Something so small can throw a reader out of the world—the story—so easily.

                But not only do you need research to fact check how long it takes a broken finger to heal or how to check if a berry on a purple bush would probably be poisonous by the color alone, but it also leads you to discover things you didn’t know; things that you can add into your story and make it even better and more interesting.

                I was looking into why people have hangovers. (Which may have started as a question for my own curiosity…) And while I was looking into the reasons, I came across a preventative. Not only a preventative, but this stuff is practically a poison repellant! Activated Charcoal.  I’ve never heard of this stuff. Ever. But people eat it. Intrigued, I looked into its uses. Poison control. This stuff prevents you from dying if you ingest poison. How cool it that?

If you mix this stuff with five times the lethal dose of arsenic and drink it—nada.  You won’t die.  Not only that, but it’s used to nullify the poison I have one of my characters using—haaaaaa the sun comes out and everything fits together.  

Not only is it used against poisons, but it also whitens teeth and helps with stomache problems and is used to filter water. 

                It’s amazing what kind of interesting tid-bits you can find while researching.  You never know what kind of inspiring things you could find and who knows? Maybe it’ll inspire your next book or scene or even series!


  1. Oh, that's really cool.

    Faulty logic/science in fantasy and science fiction drive me crazy because... well, I guess I think that if you're asking the audience to suspend their disbelief about big things like magic or dragons or aliens, you need to make sure all the everyday stuff is super-grounded. Really basic things can turn me off of an entire series when I was onboard with a big, preposterous premise from the beginning.

    1. Totally agree. I'm already suspending certain beliefs when I read sci-fi and fantasy, but if there are constant little things that definitely can't be easily changed or thrown in, it could be too much and make me throw my hands up and yell "nonsense!" lol

  2. So true that you have to do some research, even when you write fantasy. And it's fun to learn new things.

    1. Definitely! I love learning weird things and using it in an MS, and maybe telling everyone and acting smart :P