One of the most fun aspects of writing a book is researching the characters and the world that you’re creating. I particularly enjoy all the weird and wonderful places that the characters take me too. It’s always a good excuse to discover new books and to learn about new things!
The current book that I’m writing is a fantasy, which I always find a bit intimidating as far as research goes because surely everything in a fantasy is completely made up? But once you dig a little, you come to realize that there is always an element of reality that has to act as a backbone to the stories, even if they involve all kinds of weird and wonderful imagined elements.
Writer’s Block and Research
It’s been several years since I’ve really worked on a novel and I’d be lying if I told you that I feel smug and confident about it. Every new book presents a new learning curve for me. I think finding the reality, or the backbone of the story is key to ensuring that everything rolls along smoothly. I’m about three chapters into the first draft and I’m still feeling around for the direction of my story. It’s tempting to get frustrated at this stage and to step back and call it ‘writer’s block.’ I think though you get to a stage where you honestly don’t know where you’re going. It’s a bit like finding yourself in a dark room. You know the room isn’t empty, but you have no clue what’s actually in there. My current situation is more due to the characters being so new. Perhaps I don’t know them well enough to know how they will behave in the future that I’ve created for them? Or perhaps I don’t know the environment that the characters are living in well enough to really place enough background to the story.
It’s at this point where I make a cup of tea and dip my head back in to some books to do some research. I’ve been reading all kinds of books on British folklore, legends and history. It’s been really interesting. This weekend I found some more books at the library to help me find my way and I was quite surprised to find them, as to be honest, I wasn’t even looking for them. Does that make sense? Probably not. Anyway I’m currently learning about witchcraft, like you do. Kudos to our Lexington City library for having such a wonderful range of books that I can get my hands on things like this. I think without the library as a resource I probably would have spent a fortune in books by now, and honestly, probably would not have found what I needed either. Sometimes it’s best to wander along a shelf of books and let intuition lead the way! Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on how I get on, both with the witchcraft and also with writing the novel. Meanwhile, if you’d care to join me in a little reading, here’s part of my weird and wonderful reading list.
- Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland
- Encyclopedia of Witch Craft by Judika Illes
- City of Poison by Holly Tucker
Or if you haven’t read my Doc Holliday novel, why don’t you go ahead and take a look? A Gentleman In Hell.