Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Eighth Great Wonder of the World


Research in a modern age:

Could we live in better times? The time of the internet has to rate right up there with the seven great wonders of the world! As a writer, I am in seventh heaven with this amazing access to research. At any time of day or night, anything that comes to mind for a novel I can find out with careful sleuthing. If I want to know what happened on a given year, if I want to know all about medieval times like I am researching for my current book, DRAGONFIRE, or if I want to read other great works of literature, the information is available almost instantly at my hungry fingertips. And is that great or what?!

When I’m done a book I am always surprised at how many files I have accumulated from all the research. I keep them all—a bit of a hoarder of knowledge at heart—and print the best ones to place into binders for future perusal. At least that’s what I tell myself.  I seem to inevitably require new research with each new idea.

And well I’m at it, I want to say how great it is for lonely writers to have access to a wonderful vibrant community of fellow writers online. You need not feel alone. You can reach out across virtual space in seconds and find a friend. Perhaps this might even alleviate the stereotypical characterization of writers as lonely drinkers. Or not!

There are things that the internet cannot give you of course. I’m writing some of the chapters in DRAGONFIRE from a dragon’s point of view. Prometheus is his given name and he was saved from death by his best friend, Druitt, a Turyan horseman who is a descendent of the centaurs. Dragons have become nearly extinct due to man’s intervention when Druitt came across  newly hatched dragons and brought the living one home. His father told him he must kill the baby dragon for it is the law, but he found he could not do that and substituted a dead sibling for the one he saved. (This is just one small story within the story.)

This time round I am not setting out to write a romance. Instead, I am taking my muse from the books and the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I’m having kings and queens struggling for control and legendary symbols like Excalibur’s sword leading the way for a new generation. I also expect this book to take years to write and I am fine with that. J

And that is another wonderful thing about the twenty-first century. Movies, and TV, and books galore to satisfy any hungry muse. Happy reading and writing.

Have a good one everyone!

Best, January Bain

5 comments:

Big Mike said...

Yes indeed, that is great. I recall thirty years ago when my first techy book was released by Prentice Hall. No web, just libraries. Took six months to perform all the research. Now a couple weeks squirreling around the search engines and Boom, you've got what ya need.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

TKToppin said...

All hail the Internet! All hail the Internet! ;P

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I agree with the premise. But...

One thing you probably didn't consider, when researching a book the old fashioned way, one drove to the library (with cheaper gas), pored though microfiche, took copious notes and told all one's friends in the evening when libraries were closed and you attented their parties and ate their food in their homes that you were researching a book. (If you kept this up long enough, there was no failure, just lack of completion.)

In the meantime,you'd have a social life, run into friends at the library or law library, where ever knowlege was stored.

Keep in mind, when the lights go out and the batteries die, you'd still want friends.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I agree with the premise. But...

One thing you probably didn't consider, when researching a book the old fashioned way, one drove to the library (with cheaper gas), pored though microfiche, took copious notes and told all one's friends in the evening when libraries were closed and you attented their parties and ate their food in their homes that you were researching a book. (If you kept this up long enough, there was no failure, just lack of completion.)

In the meantime,you'd have a social life, run into friends at the library or law library, where ever knowlege was stored.

Keep in mind, when the lights go out and the batteries die, you'd still want friends.

Colonialist said...

I have found it far easier to build up connections with readers and fellow writers on WordPress - I am still groping to figure out how anyone gets to pick up anything on this forum.
Another wonderful thing about the internet is the way it places an entire orchestra at the disposal of fantasy writers like me who like to add music, or write music as another occupation.