Thursday, March 4, 2010

Research is Best, Put Your Writing to the Test

Research. It's a fantastic word. It's a fantastic job. I remember when I was in school, every kid in the class groaned when the teacher would write research paper on the blackboard. But not me. Nope, I was that kid who grinned from ear to ear, wrote it down and any notes that went with it. I was the kid who went to the library and wrote an annotated research paper for extra credit.

Why?

Because I love research.

Committed to Lifelong Learning

Most of the authors I know are committed to lifelong learning. We don't turn down new experiences. We revel in going places we've never been. We love to return to familiar locales and sample their flavors in a new way. We want to bottle these experiences so we can perfume our pages with just the right combination to transport our readers there as well.

Two years ago, I was in London. I wrote enough notes to set a novel there some day. A couple of years before that, I went to California, I could write a book set on the plane, connecting flights and airports we spent time in. Last year, we went to Disney World. I've always wanted to write a book about a detective or woman on the run, who use Disney World to muddy their trail. Any idea how hard it is to tail someone in that place? Not to mention to notice that someone is following you? What if you were a character who worked there? The possibilities, of course, are endless.

This spring break, my love of research is going on the road as I take my daughter back to the state she was born in and spend some time enjoying the location's history. That's right, we're going back to Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. I lived in Northern VA for more than a decade. I met my husband there and I gave birth there. So I have a serious nostalgia factor going on when it comes to visiting.

But wait, there's more.

Chaos Unintended

My novel Prime Evil is set in the region as Leesburg is where main character Chance Monroe lives. Part of our return to the area is for research into the next book which I am writing as I type this (well, not literally because I can't type two things at the same time – ahh if only I could!). But the skeleton of the story already has musculature and major organs, now I need to give it the surface and area descriptions. It's been five years since my last visit, so I expect there are going to be changes, awakening of new memories and more.



Beyond the novel research, the other major destination is time in the capitol itself where we can see the Memorials, the Smithsonian, the White House and more. We have a laundry list of stops to make, photos to take and new information to absorb. Best of all, we're going to be writing notes.

Lots and lots of notes.

Spring Break at the Daily Dose

We've got a great spring break planned for the Daily Dose too, so be sure to check out our 'write' of spring as young adult authors go wild for the week! You just might win a few prizes along the way.

Do you have plans for spring break?


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