Monday, October 15, 2018

7 Fun Ways to Do Research

Ever take your characters to a foreign land? Go back in time for some historical fiction? Want to create new gadgets but want them to sound plausible?


I love researching for my stories, so it's always fun! And research isn't just for big stuff, it's for little stuff too--like names (Carrie-Anne is a pro at all things Russian history, especially names!), accurate time zones, the speed of things, proper slang terms, etc. Not to mention how long it takes a body to decompose in certain conditions...

So here are 7 Fun Ways to do Research...
  1. Online - everyone looks online these days. But be careful. No Wikis where people can mess with the data entry. Use trustworthy sites.
  2. Ask a professional - many people would love to talk about their work, especially if it means they'll get a shout out in a book!
  3. Survey your friends - it's always fun and useful to hear what your friends on social media think of a topic or situation, or to have them vote on a name
  4. Phone a friend - friends are also useful if they are actual pros on the subject, a lawyer, a foreign national, a pilot.
  5. Read! - Read non-fiction and fiction on the topic. Read magazine articles and get the latest info.
  6. Take a class - cooking, self-defense, tap-dancing, learning another language, so much to discover!
  7. Take a walk - Go outside, go to a mall, a park, a ball game, an airport... Observe, watch, listen, learn. Research is fun!
How do you research?


C. Lee is a strong, intelligent woman--I want to be like her when I grow up! She's lived all over the globe, from California to Hong Kong to Laos, Cambodia to New York and back.

Besides reading and writing, she loves two things: hiking and Yoga. Well, three things if you count eating, and that’s why she loves to hike. These are also besides spending time with family and friends. Oh, and growing her own salad. And cats—can't forget the cats!

Lee writes amazing Young Adult novels and wonderful, fun Middle Grade. Plus, she gives awesome writing advice and encouragement. Such a primo example of everything a great author should be. And I'm honored to call her my friend.

Check her out!

And a final PS: Honorable mention is validation in my book!

I recently entered a challenge at Janet Reid's blog (she's a very famous NYC agent who gives advice to writers in her own special, snarky way, in case you didn't know)
And she enjoyed it!

Here it is.

So, go do some research, enter a contest, and check out C. Lee!

And here's the link to my STREET TEAM form, if you're interested--thanks!

Yay for Fall!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Awesome Janet enjoyed it.
Great person to pick for a shout-out.
There are so many resources when it comes to research. Often we have only to ask.

Carrie-Anne said...

Thanks for the mention! One thing I've learnt from researching is the importance of vetting sources. I was horrified to discover a site I'd used for years (and which several other serious databases cited) is an extremely well-disguised Holocaust denial site!

cleemckenzie said...

All of your suggestions for research are spot on. I'd be up for using every one of them! Thanks so much for the shout out this week. One thing I really love about blogging and networking is meeting people like you. That often is what keeps me going.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - great shout out for Lee ... and she certainly knows her way around places ... Medieval Magic recently I believe. There's so much on offer in the way of research - it's when to stop isn't it ... let alone the start! Good luck - cheers Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for featuring Lee.

I've had fun asking professionals. I once got information from the head coach of Clemson's Lady Tigers basketball team.

The Silver Fox said...

Very good advice contained in #1. The "no Wikis" part especially. Too many people believe that just because they read it online, it has to be true. (In that case, I hereby declare that yes, it is a fact that everybody in the world is obligated to send me $20 ASAP.)

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

That's awesome Janet enjoyed what you entered.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I once asked on Facebook how the process went to visit prisons and got a ton of useful information.

Great shout out pick! Love ya, Lee!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I've read a few of Lee McKenzie's books and really enjoyed them. She is also a super person.

Meanwhile, like you, I love doing research and find it fun and interesting. In fact, it seems like everything I write calls for research. And experts love to be asked for information and are so supportive of writers.

Julie Flanders said...

I love doing research as well. One of my favorite things about getting a new story idea is all the research that comes with it.
C.Lee is awesome! :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Great list! I'm always doing endless research for my comics, and especially have fun when I get to focus on folklore. Books are my go-to, but I also turn to online sources quite a bit, too.

And great to see C. Lee spotlighted here. She's awesome, for sure!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The snarky Janet liked your work! Wow and congrats. And C. Lee is amazing.

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