Resources and Research

Fantasy may be set in a location straight from the author’s imagination, but there are still times when a little research goes a long way.  The right resources and a tiny influx of information can make it easier to write a section and give it a more authentic feel, all in one fell swoop.

That happened to me tonight.  I had to pull out some research for the next section (I wrote) of Burden.  (It’s actually part 7, so you’ll have to wait a little to see the fruits of my labor.)  Three resources served me well tonight, although one of them is not as “legitimate” as the others.

The illegitimate resource I am referring to is Wikipedia.  One of my bosses hates that website, and I am a little ashamed to admit that I used it tonight.  In my defense, however, it is a great place to quickly find info that might not be readily available elsewhere.  For example:  medieval dog breeds that are now extinct.  The page I linked as an example references a dictionary and three 15th and 16th century books, none of which I have at hand.  🙂

 I also used the great kids’ book Till Year’s Good End by W. Nikola-Lisa, which has awesome information about the seasonal tasks of medieval peasants.  I haved a signed copy (thanks, Mom) that I have referred to more than once in the process of writing.  I also briefly reviewed weaponry in The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference.  This last book has not quite lived up to its claim of completeness, but it does come in handy from time to time.

It’s getting interesting to blog here about the story I’m posting elsewhere, as I am starting to get quite a bit ahead of what you can read.  Perhaps I should get my rear in gear and send some queries, so I can write about that instead.  🙂

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barb
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 08:31:28

    I also use Wikipedia as a starting point, or for summary reasons (if I’m writing about an historical character, the Wikipedia bio is useful to remind myself dates, I know I have to counter-check with other sources). If not the Wiki-articles themselves, the links and references provided are usually quite useful…
    Let’s Wikipedia! 😀

    Reply

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