What have you done in the name of research?

Normally I browse the Internet and libraries, or pick people’s brains. But what if those brains are seemingly out of reach? Or you just don’t know anyone with that knowledge? Usually people (strangers) are all too willing to give up their time to talk about themselves and their jobs if you explain what you are doing. They’d be flattered in fact, trust me on that score.

You’ve no need to go to my extraordinary lengths!

I’ve been a patient suffering from depression (wanted to find out how easy it was to get drugs). The trouble is now it’s on my medical records that I once took Prozac!

I’ve applied for executive positions in IT, Health, Manager Consultancy just so I could find out a little about the job. In one interview I was asked by a sour-faced woman why I’d obviously lied about my qualifications. Cheek!

That was the hard way to get information, and I don’t do it anymore.

Being honest with people is so much simpler. And there are so many books out there to be read. For instance if you want to research police procedure I recommend The Crime Writer’s Guide to Police Practice and Procedure  by Michael O’Byrne.

I bet if you search there’s a book for everything. There is also an excellent website for finding out almost everything about anything, which I recommend:  http://www.howstuffworks.com/  

Come on, don’t be shy, what mad things have you done in the name of research?
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16 thoughts on “What have you done in the name of research?

  1. Probably sounds a bit weird but when I heard a submission call for spanking stories I… er… spanked myself to see what it was like. Hard. On my bare behind. In the shower. A good few times too.

    Seriously I've never been spanked (well, not as an adult) and it really hurt! But it did give me an angle on why some people may do it, and curiously it wasn't directly about the pain. But those of you who indulge probably know that already…

    So I wrote the story and submitted it. Still waiting to hear if it's been accepted or rejected though.

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  2. Mainly, I've researched on the internet or asked my questions directly.
    I went to Stirling in June (where my books are set) so I could see the place I'd been dreaming and writing about for myself. Everyone I met was very interested in what I was doing, and told me a lot of things about the area that I probably wouldn't have found out for myself. I went to Logie Old Kirk (where some very important scenes in book #1 are set), but when we got there, it was all locked up. I figured I had to be proactive, as I'd come a long way to see that place in particular, so I phoned the cemeteries service, got the number for the head of the Friends of Logie Society, and she came out to the cemetery about twenty minutes later. She then showed us around the grounds and told us about the history. It was very thoughtful of her, as she didn't have to take time out of her day to show a group of total strangers around. When I told her what I wanted to see it for, she was very excited.
    My sister and I took tons of photos and videos everywhere we went, but a few months later, when I got into writing book #2 I realised I had no pictures of the grounds surrounding the National Wallace Monument. I couldn't remember what the wall opposite the front door (the barrier to stop you falling two hundred feet down the crag) was made of. In my mind, I think I was mixing it up with the walls in the Castle. So I emailed the 'contact us' for the Monument, explained what I was doing, and got a lovely email back, explaining the layout and wishing me luck.
    Whenever I've needed to know something specific, I've asked people straight out wherever I could. Honesty is definitely the best policy, and if you need to know something, don't be shy. If you don't ask, you'll never know.

    http://whitefireandsapphireeyes.blogspot.com/

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  3. I'm writing a romantic comedy set in an ice cream van, which has been great fun to research. You'd be amazed at the weird and wonderful vintage ice cream vans you can find on the internet, especially from the 70s and 80s. Obviously, I feel my research should move on a bit now and become more interactive, so I'll be sampling different ice cream flavours from – oh, now until the end of the year probably, just to ensure my writing is as authentic as possible…

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  4. Apart from enchantment, ( I write fantasy/magical realism) which is way beyond my league I'm afraid, every single thing in my novels I have done . . . horse-riding, kayaking, ocean sailing, embroidery, fancy dress, elegant balls, farming etc etc.
    I've researched herbs and poisons but in no way intend to experiment!
    I've had to create a fantasy world and have visited those real countries on which I base my own. Masses of travel diary notes that are all sensation-based only. The research for writing is the best part. And then of course there is the emotional side . . . do we use our own experience, or do we ask others what it feels like? Hmm . . .

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  5. Victoria, it just goes to show how people are willing to help if you ask them. And I agree, honesty is definitely the best policy.

    Clair, your research has got to be the best! What a brilliant excuse to eat lots of ice-cream!

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  6. I think you blessed my submission Louise. I got an email on Monday from the publisher saying it will be in 'Ultimate Spanking' – my first sale!

    I'm now wondering how far other research should go in the name of good erotic story telling!

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  7. lol
    I wrote and “rude” short story once, just to see if I could, you understand 😉 and was amazed at what I put down on paper!

    Hope your good news is the start of many publications.

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  8. モバゲータウンでであいを楽しみませんか。気軽に誰でも楽しめるであいサイトとなっています。こんな事をしてみたいなど希望の事が実現できる、そんなであいコミュニティサイトです

    Like

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