Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ask Box

Today I thought I'd answer one of the question that we got in our Ask Box.

Nicole asked: What was your best tool to get concrete, accurate research for any of your novels?

Thanks for the question. I actually did quite a lot of research for one of my manuscripts. It was a siren/mermaid story, so I ended up needing to know lots about the waters around Florida. I did a lot of research on deep sea creatures, bioluminescence, the layout of the sea floor, and on and on.

So how did I find out about these things? I went to the library. I ask for books and found some that gave me the information I needed. Now, the library is always a safe bet, usually there will be at least one book there for you--I hope--but it is a lot of work. I spent hours at the library, searching through books and finding all the stuff I needed.

Another option you could have is to speak to someone that is a professional in the area that you need to know about. Fortunately for me, a family member of mine knows a lot about sea life and all that stuff. They also found articles for me, giving me even more information.

But what if you don't know anyone like that? For my newest MS, I needed to know if some Latin that I had in my story was accurate or not, but I didn't have any family or friends that I could ask. I was also pretty sure I didn't want to just search online and hope that I got the info right. So, what I did that time was just Googled professors of Latin and found someone. All I did was email him, letting him know I had a few questions on Latin for a book I was writing and then I waited to see if he'd help me. I think I was really lucky with this too. I got a quick response from the professor, agreeing to help me. I emailed him my questions after that and he was great with answering them.

So that's what I've done and what I'd recommend. Go to the library, ask for books that can help you and then invest the time into that AND/OR ask a professional, someone you might know or someone you find online.

What about you, guys? Is there anything you do when you need to research something for your manuscript?

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