Forum Friday: Research in Writing

The floor is yours, fellow writers:

What is the most recent (or most interesting) thing you’ve researched for the sake of your writing?

I’ll get things rolling with a few things I’ve researched for my novel-in-progress recently:

  • Pretentious first names
  • Pretentious last names
  • Cloning (long-term research)
  • How to read people. I found this incredibly interesting (not to mention useful for narration!) and ended up spending several hours reading through search results. Here were some of my favorites: 1) How to Read Body Language 2) 18 Tips for Reading People) 3) 25 Common Gestures

How about you?

14 thoughts on “Forum Friday: Research in Writing

      • Hi Julie,
        Of course! Through my research I have found out that the first named author in history was a woman, and that it is was not until 17st century and Aphra Behn that the first woman sold her writings (in Aphra’s case to get out of debtors prison -:)). I wrote about that in ‘when women write’ in my last post.
        Kind Regards,

  1. I had to research borderline personality disorder which was very very interesting. Actually, just before that I met a mental health nurse who gave me some research advice. I had told him about my WIP and the mental problems of my MC and from that description he gave me the best possible diagnosis for her. It was very good advice 🙂

    • Virginia, that’s awesome! It helps when you know or have access to people in a directly relevant field. I bet it’s exciting for people like nurses, too, to put some of their medical knowledge to creative use 🙂

    • 本当?すごい!がんばって下さい! 🙂 Good on you for going all the way! When I was younger I wanted to be an Egyptologist but I became discouraged when I realized that, in order to understand the hieroglyphics, I would basically need to know Arabic…

      • Aarigato gozaimasu 🙂 Arabic sounds a bit daunting? Wanted to tell you that the Reading body language article was very interesting. It’s very useful. It reminds me of that show, “Lie To Me” where he reads the small expressions to know angst, anger, so forth.

  2. Body language is always a fun one. But I think the most amusing thing I’ve come across with my research is the amount of folktales and tales in general that draw from so many different sources. I’ll read a tale written in China 200 years ago having the same design and very basic story that a tale from South America 400 years ago had. But most of all are the tales that are so closely connected like Creation and Apocalypse myths.

    For an entirely different series I’d been working with for a while Creation myths were something I researched to find a way to draw all the creations of the world into a single world. And surprisingly it isn’t that hard to pull off. Some of the methods are intense and varied but you get a lot of stuff like ‘The Rainbow Snake’ at least five different creation myths or stories around the ‘rebirth of the world’ involves rainbows or snakes that are rainbow colored and moving through the sky or near land. In one tale the rainbow snake actually shapes land and mountains in the world. This leads a simple belief that somewhere in the world a rainbow was interconnected with creation, possibly a ‘living rainbow’. The most known rainbow being apart of a rebirth myth is from the bible in the Old Testament which happened after a massive flood or the world occurred. Interestingly enough, you can find multiple other sources about the world being flooded, including the Mayans who believe the previous world before this one had been destroyed by water (A flood).

    The more you read, the more you know.

    I could keep going on and on with all these similarities connected between them. And I didn’t just find it with creation, rebirth, and death myths, but faerie tales and folktales and any sorts of myths in general (Like my favorites from the Native Americans).

    • Ay! I want so much to sit down and read through volume upon volume of fairy tales, and myths, and folktales from all different cultures! I find them fascinating in their own right, but I am even more intrigued at the prospect of drawing connections between them. Isn’t it interesting to think of biblical accounts as just one version of ancient stories that have been around, passing from one culture to the next, for as long as people have been telling them? Creation myths are especially interesting. I can’t say I’ve read too many apocalypse myths though!

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