And don’t think that just because I write speculative fiction and fantasy that I don’t need to do research. I do. I mean, sometimes, you just have to know the specific density of hippopotamus blood lipids in order to move forward with your story.
Right now, I’m knee-deep in it.
Between my local library, Wikipedia, online historical archives and special-interest websites, documentaries, and the UPS guy with my Amazon order, I’m adrift in a sea of information. There is no better time in the history of the written word to find out what you want to know; from the most secret and arcane to the latest discoveries.
Sometimes, I’m not even sure of what I’m looking for. While I do admit to finding myself down a rabbit hole more often than not, I’ve learned that research can lead to new ideas I hadn’t expected to find, which can in turn bring to light some intriguing new plot twists. Often as not, history is stranger than fiction.
Yes, I know; there are no new stories. No new plots. But when the writer combines their own unique ideas, experiences and beliefs with their own way of telling a story, and spices the brew with the flavor of history and facts, the end result is an exotic new recipe–hopefully, an intriguing and riveting tale.
So do your research. Stir the pot a little.