Monday, July 12, 2010
Research, Research, Research
There are many ways we can do research: we can read the novels in our genre; we can scour the internet; we can visit libraries, art galleries, museums, historic sites, specific destinations; we can ask those who do know, and conduct interviews; we can even go on work experience.
In my opinion there is no substitute for getting out there myself to experience a different kind of life. There is only so much I can learn from looking up references on the net, or pawing through the library. As much as it is possible, I search for the “experience”.
On the weekend I visited the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. They have on show two magnificent tall ships: The Endeavour, and the James Craig. (The James Craig is pictured above). It was my hope to soak in the look and feel of the ships because my current WIP is set on a similar rigged ship. I’d already done a lot of research via books and the net, but I was startled by the impact of the different sizes of the two ships. Size mattered in a way I hadn’t considered. The ninety-four people crammed in on the tiny Endeavour would have lived a completely different life on a ship the size of the James Craig which seemed two times larger. And so my trip, I hope, has added an extra dimension to my novel.
What other methods of research have you found helpful? How far have you gone to do research for your book?