FUN WITH RESEARCH by Syndi Powell
The picture above is similar to the bike that I imagined April bought in "Healing Hearts". Which brings me to my topic. Some writers hear the word "research" and groan. I'll admit that there are times I'm in that group. Other times, I rub my hands together before diving into learning about a world different from mine to bring truth and authenticity into my stories.
The book that I had the most fun researching was "Healing Hearts". April had a second chance list that included things that I've never done or experienced, so I learned how to salsa dance, make my own pasta and skydive. That last item I'm grateful that I only learned by looking up and reading other people's experiences rather than doing it myself.
Another fun book to research was "The Sweetheart Deal" because the heroine was a baker. I visited many bakeries to find out things like what a baker's day is like (hint: starts REALLY early), what items are made and sold, floor layouts, pricing, etc. My favorite part of this research was buying and tasting pastries in order to decide what my baker would make.
Currently I'm researching the work required for renovating a house in order to later flip it. I've been studying pictures and diagrams on how to install wood floors, tile floors, how to re-glaze a bathtub, installing drywall and cupboards and windows and sinks.... It's amazing how much work is required to fix up a house. Those shows on television make it look a lot easier!
The point of research is like I said, to give truth and authenticity to our fictional worlds. While one of the axioms of writing is to write what you know, there's no way that we can know everything we write about. I might know what it's like to have breast cancer, but I don't know all the treatments and side effects. I have experience with being a buyer at a bakery, but not what it is to be an owner. My sister and her husband have gone through an adoption, but I don't know all the nuances of both the legal and emotional process. That is what research is for.
What are your favorite types of research? What would you like to research one day? What interesting tidbit have you discovered during periods of research?
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