Monday, February 25, 2013

Reading for Research

I read a great deal when researching an idea for a book. It's important to me that I get the facts right when I'm writing about something I have no knowledge of. I have a number of non-fiction books on my bookshelves relating to the Regency period, but I also have books about mythical creatures. I have an encyclopedia of serial killers, a guide book to poisons, a book on deadly killing skills (the title always makes me smile since killing skills would make them deadly, but I digress), a book about the origin of the pistol, and one about combat fighting skills. I also have two books about pirates just to name a few. 

Will I ever need or use any of the information in those books? I've used the Regency period books quite a lot as all of my books have been set in that time period. As for the others, I've used a snippet of information from one or two, but for the most part I was drawn to purchase them by their potential. I was so intrigued by the subject matter that I bought them even though at the time, I had no idea what I would use them for.

I also find that when I'm reading a fiction book for pleasure, I'll sometimes note how well the author handled a particular scene. I'll mark the page and after I've finished the book, I'll go back and deconstruct the scene hoping that I'll learn something about writing that type of scene, whether it be an action scene or a quiet one of introspection. So I guess you could say I read fiction as a form of research as well.

I've always read in a wide variety of subjects even before I started to pursue a writing career. Now I have a reason to buy all those books that whisper, "buy me, buy me" when I walk into a book store.

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