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.  🙂


Lasting Impression

I have not read the book Strangers on a Train nor seen the Hitchcock movie by the same name, but I do know the plot.  Apparently it is very popular with crime TV, which I watch a lot.

I already knew about the CSI episode “A Night at the Movies” – this is the first I was exposed to the conceit, and Grissom gives a detailed explanation of the original movie plot.  CSI is one of my favorite shows, and I have seen the episode numerous times.

Castle also had an episode, “Double Down,” with the same premise, although skewed from what I know of the movie because both killers actually do the deed.  In both the CSI episode and the movie, one of the two gets cold feet.

In a quick check of Wikipedia, I found many other references and ‘theft’ of the plotline from other shows as well.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to come up with a plotline or story that is so memorable, it gets copied and referenced over and over?