Weird Things I’ve Had To Research (Part 0/?)

When I completed the Self-Publishing Roundtable series, my plan was to go straight into another set of weekly articles just to keep the momentum going.  Unfortunately, because I’ve been so busy with the edits, I had to set the first article of this new series aside, half-written, to go back and fix those.  I’ll be working to finish that article this week before going back to the edits, and hopefully those won’t take too long and I’ll be able to get something else out for the next Sunday.

The topic of this new series (as you might expect from the title):  Research.  In this case, I’m going to a series of anecdotes about my experiences in research.  While I will discuss my research process, to some extent (at least, in as much as there is a process; my research techniques aren’t quite that… uh, formal), my primary goal is to talk about the things I wasn’t expecting to need to research.

Basically, I’m talking about the moments where you go “I want my characters to do simple chore X.  Wait a minute… do I know how they do simple chore X with that level of technology?  Is it even possible back then?  Uh oh….”  And why, sometimes, you go through hours of research, figure out exactly what you need to know, and then don’t use it after all.

Now, writers say “I’m sure I’m on a watch list somewhere for all the weird things I’ve had to research.”  I’m sure I’m on a watch list somewhere for all the weird things I’ve had to research, too, but I’m not going to talk about those things here (heh).

The first article, for example, is going to be about underwear.  No, seriously.  (And not the ‘sexy’ kind, for the most part; I mean the non-elastic kind.  Because you just might need to know what your adventurer is wearing under his armor when he goes for a swim…)

This article will be the index of all the articles in this series, and will be updated every time I add a new entry in the series.  Unlike the last series, this one has no particular set number of articles.  Also, I’ll probably intersperse articles from this series with other series, follow-up articles, and maybe an actual new book release announcement or two.  So stay tuned!

  1. Pre-Elastic Underwear:  Let’s Go Swimming!  (Or not)
  2. Filling Fantasy Worlds With Strange Myths And Stranger Cryptids
  3. Making Lemons Out of Lemonade
  4. Thoughts on Constructed Languages
  5. Falling Down the Youtube Hole
  6. TBA…