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Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Author Insight: Research Frustration & Elation

What part of research is most frustrating? Most delightful?

"I like finding out new and interesting things. I tend to just research the things that I find interesting, since what I'm writing is speculative history, I don't have to be completely detail oriented. I did spend a good bit of time 'researching' the Masque sequel by using google image search to look at pictures of catacombs and masked balls!" - Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Read Death.

"The tedium of it, and when using the Internet, the endless temptation to hyperlink to some other part of the Web. The delightful part is discovering more about a subject you are (presumably) interested in, and the fact that if you stay at it long enough, you will have many “wow” moments learning things you didn’t know. Research is also a great way to procrastinate." - Barry Wolverton, author of Neversink.

"I love research, but the most frustrating part is when there's a lot of conflicting information on a subject, or not enough information. Or when there's so much information I plain don't know where to start." - Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

"Most frustrating - making 'the facts' fit what's in your head. Most delightful - discovering a tiny nugget of information that you instantly know will enhance your story. To say nothing of the fact that I truly love doing research (that's my journalist-self rearing her head!)." - Elizabeth Miles, author of Fury.

"I love research. Digging through massive amounts of info to find that one strange fact, that one bit to build a story on. The only thing I get frustrated about is when I find myself asking a question that is too complicated for my general understanding. But the perk is, then I get to ask other people. Astronomers and archeologists, librarians and teenagers. Thank god for the internet!" - Sarah Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger.

"I didn’t find any part of research frustrating, but then I’ve always been a school/knowledge lover. If I could take college courses for the rest of my life, I would, and I love reading non-fiction, though I don’t do it enough. Once I’m finished with this trilogy, I plan to actually go on a research trip, which will be a first. The world of Under the Never Sky is loosely based on several locations I know well, but my next project will be very specific. I can’t wait to do that!" - Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky.

"I get frustrated with any details that I have to rely on books and web sites for, and trust that they’ve gotten it right. With Cinder, I’m still nervous about a lot of the technology and science I use, because I would hate to find out that my sources were wrong after all that time I spent reading about it. Alternatively, I love any research that I can experience first-hand. For Cinder, I crawled under a car to see what my mechanic saw, and for Book 2: Scarlet, my husband and I dined at multiple French restaurants so I would have a feel for the cuisine. (Of course, anything involving food gets a gold star from me!)" - Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.

"I suppose it’s frustrating when there’s either too much information, or not enough.  So you either spend your time slogging through endless sources, or you turn up empty handed.  And the delightful part is when you uncover a fun detail or clue that leads your story in a surprising (sometimes better!) direction." - Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

"I love finding telling little details that can be dropped into a story, but sometimes, getting too involved in research can slow down the actual writing of the story." - David Macinnis Gill, author of Invisible Sun.

"I actually don’t own many books!  I give them away as soon as I read them.  I don’t even need a shelving system – just two small book cases with a handful of favorites crammed in randomly.  I really like to travel light in life." - Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

"Inaccurate or conflicting information found during research is frustrating. So is the time burned sorting the truth from the garbage. The most delightful part of research is finding something to enhance the plot that I did not know about or expect." - Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls.

"I love the research phase, it’s what lets you start living in the world of your book. And if I can use it as an excuse to travel, then it’s even better. The only frustrating thing about research really is that you have to do it before you can actually start writing and sometimes I get impatient!" - Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate.

"I get frustrated when facts do not pan out the way I want them to in order to make the fiction interesting. And of course it’s delightful when the facts fall into place appropriately." - Jennifer Echols, author of The One That I Want.

"Steampunk is part history, part future, so often times I have to make something up in a (semi) historically-viable sense.  Sometimes that information is really hard to find, other times you go, 'wow, it really did exist.'  What I love most is stumbling upon odd things and incorporating them into the book." - Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness.

Find out Tuesday what bits of the authors' novels are autobiographical!
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