Thursday, March 06, 2008

Research for Writing

Next to my bed sits a stack of books that I have been using for research. The Stephen King memoir/advice book remains on the "To Read" list. I've yet to open the thing.

The others, though? Have felt my thumbs on their pages, flipping to maps, descriptions, and back to the maps. I've visited all these places, seen the sights. Still, the words of these writers help stoke my memory. Sent to me by my friend, Trixie, these travel guides allow me to get in the heads of my characters.

A while ago, I read these books and a few websites about a self-tour of Capitol Hill. I spent about an hour and a half doing this reading. That translated to two sentences. Yet, stored in my head are the places my character visited, experiences he will draw upon in later conversations in this story.

When I get this novel written, the next one will be set in the town I call my home. I won't need guidebooks for that one.
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4 comments:

Kell said...

Hey Sarabeth! I thought you and your kids might enjoy some of the video I've produced this year - Crayola Crafts! You can find them at: http://www.youtube.com/user/CrayolaLLC

jmb said...

It seems every two months someone recommends Stephen King's book On Writing to me. Since I loathe his books I've been putting it off. Also I'm not a writer so if he has any handy tricks I can't see me using them. Worth it?

Washington DC. One of the best places I have ever visited and I've been to plenty.

Ami said...

I am not a Stephen King fan. I wish I were after reading "On Writing". I tried to be, but I just don't like horror that much. And he does have a tendancy to literally mess up his endings. Like he has this cool premise going on and it turns out to be a creepy slimy thing.

Anyway, I did end up listening to it while doing housework. It is interesting and useful, and I would recommend it.

I liken doing this kind of research to taping and protecting a room before painting. It sometimes takes longer than the painting does, but boy is it worth it.

Angela: mom2girlsgirlsgirls: said...

Hi Sarabeth-
Like jmb and ami, I don't like Stephen King novels, though I have tried my darndest at the request of a niece. However, his On Writing was great.

Enjoy your weekend!