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Showing posts from May 13, 2012

Researching your novel: chaos eating the sun

Lately I'm interested in how people research for their novels.

Rick Riordan's style, for example, seems all efficiency and organization. Before he sits down to write, say, a book based on Egyptian mythology, Rick claims to 1) toss off his research in about two weeks; then, when he knows everything he needs to know about his subject, he 2) jots down an outline, and 3) churns out a story.

Which then, of course, is brilliant, funny, and makes your kid (who never wanted to read before) love both reading and Egyptian mythology.

I'm in the middle of writing a fantasy novel, so you might think research would be kind of minimal. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ha!

This is my style:

1) Write the first page with a setting loosely based on reality. Realize you have no plot because your setting sucks because you don't know enough, and also you don't really want to know about that place. Love the first page, though!

2) Pick a new setting on which to loosely base your story.

3) Scour the in…