Once of the most annoying and yet enjoyable things I have found out about writing is research. Sometimes you get an idea for a story and you realize what you want to include in your story you aren’t the most knowledgeable about the subject matter. You know just enough that the idea is spurred but sometime more is needed to keep things accurate. Thus I have found myself delving into the world of Wikipedia and loving every minute of it.
The idea that has developed for me involves a bit of alternate history – it isn’t the focus of my story but a fun little gem. I have always loved the idea of alternate history it is fun to look at odd little quirks in our history and developing new thoughts and ideas about it. It is one of the many reasons I love the Assassin’s Creed story line so much. That is a massive amount of alternate history. I love it! I have loved it so much that I have dabbled in Role playing in the universe where I took an alternate history to John Wilkes Booth that was a whole lot of fun to write. For those familiar with the games – just know he was a rouge Templar. (Yes an Templar assassin but not an Assassin! Please tell me I’m not the only who is amused by this.) Any way John Wilkes Booth has become a point of historical interest to me and I love reading and learning about him and what brought him to the conclusion to do what he did. Really his motives are quite fascinating.
Anyway John Wilkes Booth wasn’t the historical figure I needed to read up on but Rather Harry Houdini and let me say what I learned was a whole lot of fun and really he was an interesting person what he did pertaining to magic and escape artists. I got a lot of great information and really after reading up on him is what got me to thinking about John Wilkes Booth and one of my other favorite historical figures Edgar Allen Poe. So despite the fact that John and Edgar don’t have a place in my story at this point I couldn’t help but get lost in reading about them and the fascinating aspects of their lives, making me wish they could fit into my story but they don’t, not really.
This lead me to realize how much I love to do research at time. I love learning new things about history and various subject such as the mythos around certain mythological creatures like have done in the past for other story ideas. Though I love to do the research some subject matters are so broad that instead of the research being deep and fun it becomes long and tedious. One such subject matter is Greek Mythology. That subject matter so massive, deep and even convoluted that I have actually dropped the idea I had pertaining to it. I may approach things again one day but not any time soon.
Additionally with researching there are difficulties not having access to the information needed – such as my novel that is currently being edited. I cannot express how much I’ve banged my head against a brick wall trying to figure out the right chemical combination for an explosion. It is a small but integral part of my story and it is not easy to find out what will happen if you mix chemical X with chemical Y. Not to mention chemical explosion research you have to fear the NSA coming to knock on your door. It’s not like you have have your search say “Seriously I’m a writer I just need to know this for a story! I don’t plan to make things explode in real life!” Honestly I think most any writer will have a very very odd search history that if looked at by itself may cause some eyebrows to raise till you realize they are a writer. I mean I’ve done reach from mythos and historical figures, to chemical explosions, drug use and death. It’s a scary world the world of a writer but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is why I like the words from the TV show Castle “There are two kinds of folks who sit aroundthinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers.” I heard that and find it to be so true. Unfortunately I can’t claim the other half of the quote stating that “I’m the kind that pays better.” Because anyone will tell you that it is very rare to make it in the world of writing that you can find yourself able to sustain a living from writing alone, but that is a topic for another time.