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Friday, March 20, 2015

Research - Problems?


Rhobin has chosen another interesting topic.  All story genres take some research for establishing details in the setting. What type of research have you had to do? Does it bother you when you read something happening in a story that is inaccurate historically, socially, scientifically, etc.?

Okay, so first what research have I had to do? It was interesting because I have a friend who writes historical and I said I don’t know how you do all the research to make it accurate. And she said I don’t know how you make all your information for contemporary romantic suspense accurate.

It’s all the perspective.

For my contemporary romantic suspense I research police, witness protection, weapons, self defense, Native Americans, amnesia and Montana landscape.  And for my upcoming series – I had to research Afghanistan, women’s prisons and their dress, air lines and flight times.

I think as writers we have to make sure everything we write has to be researched and accurate.

And yes, it bothers me when I read something that’s incorrect. One comes to mind. In that book they were talking about the Empress Hotel (in British Columbia, Canada.) I’m Canadian and have been to the Empress several times and I included it in my series Hunted. They had it in Vancouver.

The Empress is in Victoria. And all their other information was also inaccurate, - drove my crazy.

Now I'm going to hop over to see what others have to say. Join me.
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/
Rachael Kosnski ://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Heidi M. Thomas http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax  http://helenafairfax.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Lynn Crain  http://www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/

17 comments:

  1. Morning Beverley, that's a big mistake putting some well known, and I assume well-loved, public building in the wrong state. You've learned a lot for your books. I find it's one of life's great pleasures. Anne

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    1. Thanks Anne. And it did upset me. The author had done no research.

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  2. Your list of research is extensive, and I'm guessing it might rival your historical author friend's list. I believe in your philosophy about writing, too. Thanks for the interesting post!

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    1. Thanks Rhobin, for dropping by. And when I looked at it, I realized it doesn't matter what you write, you need to research. I'm guessing even sci-fi writers have to do some research.

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  3. You're right to make sure you get all the police stuff, forenesics, and even landscapes right. Correct details lend so much depth to a story.

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  4. Yes Beverley, getting research wrong does bother me. I wrote a short story about the Chupacabra, but I found the name spelled 2 different ways. Either Chupacabra, or Chupracabra. I put an r in the name in my book, and the editor did not say anything about it, but I had a reader tell me that there is no r in the word. Who is right? Just thought I'd say this.

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    1. If you've researched it and it past the editor, I'd say you were right - but there are words that can be spelled more than one way. So maybe both of you were right. Thanks for sharing - and I have no idea what the correct spelling might be.

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  5. Research is important no matter what you write. We often think of it with academic papers but all stories need to show accuracy or it will turn off the reader. Someone will find the mistake and call you out on it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're so right about someone noticing a mistake. And sometimes it can ruin the author's credibility.

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  6. You are so correct...it is a matter of perspective...and every author has their own take. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Lynn. And thanks for dropping by.

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  7. So right on about the details. If I'm reading a book and someone drops info that is so blatantly false it bugs me. And it does require looking up rather than thinking you know. Years ago, having grown up in the era of the Beach Boys, I got the idea that the beaches on the coast of southern California were warm. I lived in New England where the ocean is frigid even in summer so I was envious. You can imagine my shock when I traveled to San Diego and had the opportunity to swim at Coronado Beach - I went dashing into the water without thought and nearly couldn't catch my breath it was so cold. Now, if I'd set a story in San Diego and had not done the homework, I'd have gotten it totally wrong. And had a lot of unhappy readers....

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    1. You are so right. And as Marci said below, it's not that hard to check out most details. Just Google ocean temperature at Coronado Beach. I'm glad you never wrote a book about swimming in the Pacific. I believe it's a little warmer than the east coast - but it's still cold. And people would have picked up on it if you said, swimming in the luxurious, warm ocean. :)

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  8. This will be my fourth attempt to respond.

    Inaccurate details in books/movies drives me nuts. There is no reason to make mistakes, especially now when it's so easy to look things up.

    Marci

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    1. I'm so sorry, Marci, that you had so much trouble posting a comment. I appreciate that you kept trying, and this one went through. And you're so right, with internet these days. Thanks for dropping by.

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  9. Wow, putting a famous hotel in the wrong city? Kind of a major error, and sure to be spotted by readers. Better to make up a hotel, so you can put it anywhere the story needs it to be.

    Re: Skyewriter, I didn't know that about southern CA. I've never been there, but always assumed it was warm. Good thing I've never set a story there either!

    And Marci, I often have that problem. If the reply space asks how you will post, if you're not signed in to Google yet and that's what you check, it will make you sign in, then return you here to find your comment has disappeared. I've gotten into the habit of doing right click/copy, before I check that I'm posting with my Google name. That way I can just paste my comment in. Very frustrating to have to type the same comment over again; I'm always convinced it was wittier and more pithy the first time!

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