In the bible, it says God created the heaven and earth. What a humongous contracting job it must have been to fill this unformed void, even for the all-powerful Builder of the Universe! Should the light of day and the stars of night come first, or should the waters be divided into land and sea? Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Thanks so much for contributing this post, Jennie! Knowing that you went on a ride-along with Chicago paramedics made reading the post even more interesting.
Thanks for the opportunity, Bonnie! I believe that research should not solely consist of jumping on the Internet or thumbing through library books and college texts. Real research means jumping into the mud and getting all dirty. By this, I mean a writer should do the foot-work to make the story “real”! Caveat: I’m not talking about hurting, raping, or killing anybody here! Just talking about interviewing experts — no, not the bad guys, themselves — who go after the bad guys. Going on ride-alongs, visiting a bakery or restaurant, etc. where you imagine the “event” to take place. That sort of thing informs the story and gives it validity, even if the writer only uses a few lines from her live research!
I’d luv to receive comments from your readers on what they think!
Very interesting post. I think going on a ride-along would be the ultimate author experience! I agree with the concept that a writer should try to immerse himself or herself in the book to make certain scenes seem more real for the reader. I try to do the same things with my settings, even when I’m not always able to experience the same activities. Going through some of the same experiences as the characters gives a certain depth to a novel that can’t be replaced by internet searches, helpful as they can be. Of course, sometimes the internet or library books have to do, but it’s more fun for the writer to jump in!
Yes, it definitely is fun to “jump into a scene”! As a freelance writer for local and national magazines and newspapers, I had an opportunity to experience a variety of new scenes. These experiences are why I feel, when possible, that authentic research, i.e. visiting the settings in your book, interviewing experts to obtain a better understanding of their particular field/s,, and asking experts in those fields to critique your manuscript for accuracy, are paramount to creating a trustworthy read that will bring your fans back again and again.