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Old 11-12-2017, 02:09 AM   #1
JayLikestoRead
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Do you do research?

Some things I haven't deemed worthy of research. For example, in a story set in Baltimore, I didn't look up street names just so I could give information about a fictional club's location. Some things I have. For a story set in Cleveland, I asked around to determine whether there are places where one can walk on the beach of Lake Erie. My latest story takes place in Yosemite National Park. I looked up some of the plant and animal life to use in conversations, as well as looking for a real but not-well-known college in Northern California where one of the characters would teach. For a story involving a mother and daughter from Hungary, I used Google Translate to find the Hungarian word for "estrus" so that the daughter could say that a certain expression was equivalent to "in heat."

What things do you research, and what things don't you?
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:15 AM   #2
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I can easily spend hours down a research rabbit hole. Sometimes being vague just doesn't cut it. Recently, I was reading up about and watching YT videos relating to amputee cycling. I think doing the research shows respect for your subjects and diligence in your writing.
It can also generate some interesting plot bunnies.
I am a bit of a geek though.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:46 AM   #3
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Not often. My memory serves me well. If I don't know a geography, I don't write it; if I don't know a subject, I don't write it.

I think the only story I've checked for detail was my Rope and Veil series, to make sure I got the paraplegic health issues right. Seems I mostly did ok, and where I didn't, I was appropriately error checked by Missy, who knew exactly what having a broken spinal cord meant.

That's the only story I ever submitted edits for, after I was told, no, she's not going to think that way.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:50 AM   #4
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Research is fun and necessary for we writers with reality fetishes. In many of my stories, *place* is one of the characters; the tale could happen nowhere else. Language? I'll have most speech rendered in Anglish but it's good to have the Hopi and Kurdish translations, too.

Machinery can get trickier; I'm not yet ready to write about a gyroplane pilot, but a lot of my hesitation there is about getting air-traffic lingo wrong. And if a story deals with history, I'd better get that history RIGHT. No cellphones in 1960.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypoxia View Post
Research is fun and necessary for we writers with reality fetishes. In many of my stories, *place* is one of the characters; the tale could happen nowhere else. Language? I'll have most speech rendered in Anglish but it's good to have the Hopi and Kurdish translations, too.

Machinery can get trickier; I'm not yet ready to write about a gyroplane pilot, but a lot of my hesitation there is about getting air-traffic lingo wrong. And if a story deals with history, I'd better get that history RIGHT. No cellphones in 1960.
Anything to do with planes, I find the old Flight Sim an invaluable aid.
My hero's journey took him to Montreal; Google Earth was a great help.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:16 AM   #6
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Yes. I'll often fictionalise people, places, and businesses, but I try to avoid accidentally fictionalising anything. Currently I'm working on a story with an Indian character, and another author's been helping me with background and language for that.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:18 AM   #7
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I research some details but not many. Much of the detail in my stories comes from personal knowledge.

An example: My current contest entry Midnight Mince Pies is based on two places lost to coastal erosion - Dunwich in Suffolk which has a legend of the drowned church bell ringing at midnight; and Hallsands in Devon. Hallsands was destroyed in 1917 but not on Christmas Eve. Hallsands never had a church, only a chapel, and the ruins of that chapel still stand.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:15 AM   #8
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So far, no. I do a lot of research for my job, and my creative writing is an escape from that. So far my stories haven't required any research. I suspect that will change in the future as I take on new topics.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #9
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Research? Why screw up a perfectly good sex story with facts?

Yes, I do some research but nearly as much as I figured I would. Most of it is procrastination of the highest caliber.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:18 AM   #10
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"Valentine's Day Mess" parts 2 and 3 both required research. I'm not going to write about sex and political intrigue in Renaissance Spain off the top of my head. For "Unlikely Angels" I researched antique pianos on-and-off for several years.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:24 AM   #11
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:56 AM   #12
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Yes, lots of Lit-erature studies

Some of my stories contain a bit more than just two people meeting each other—some have serious, sensitive topics—and especially for those, I feel I do have some responsibility. Moreover, I would just hate it when readers can point out that I've got it all wrong...
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:12 PM   #13
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I do, especially if it's not just a generic story in a generic location. If a story is set in the past I want to make sure I have all the details right in my head even if they don't make it into the story proper. I have a story where much of it takes place in the early 70's and another set around 1950 and I wanted to make sure I had the clothing correct though it wasn't harped on in the story, not like I'm writing fashion porn.

I have some good story ideas I can only describe as historical fiction and I've hesitated to write them due to the amount of research needed to get it right. What a lady wore in 1200 is much different than in 1600, 1800, or 1890 and even if some readers don't know or care I do and if it isn't done correctly it would bother me. And that's only the clothing - one also needs to get the prevailing attitude and culture right.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rutger5 View Post
... And that's only the clothing - one also needs to get the prevailing attitude and culture right.
But not the language. A hint of the past is enough. If you write as they spoke in an historical era most readers wouldn't understand it. E.g. Chaucer's Wife of Bath:

30 Eek wel I woot, he seyde myn housbonde
Also I know well, he said my husband
31 Sholde lete fader and mooder and take to me.
Should leave father and mother and take to me.
32 But of no nombre mencion made he,
But he made no mention of number,
33 Of bigamye, or of octogamye;
Of marrying two, or of marrying eight;
34 Why sholde men thanne speke of it vileynye?
Why should men then speak evil of it?
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:17 PM   #15
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:33 PM   #16
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I am going to be as clear as possible. Yes.
Good answer Mr. Carter.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
But not the language. A hint of the past is enough. If you write as they spoke in an historical era most readers wouldn't understand it. E.g. Chaucer's Wife of Bath:

30 Eek wel I woot, he seyde myn housbonde
Also I know well, he said my husband
31 Sholde lete fader and mooder and take to me.
Should leave father and mother and take to me.
32 But of no nombre mencion made he,
But he made no mention of number,
33 Of bigamye, or of octogamye;
Of marrying two, or of marrying eight;
34 Why sholde men thanne speke of it vileynye?
Why should men then speak evil of it?
You're quite right ogg but on the other hand if a male character in the 1400's called his friend bro or dude or someone described themselves as being a cis straight male that would be even worse. If someone wants to create a fictional world where they create the rules of their universe it's fine with me. Just don't be like these idiots who lamented that in the recent movie Dunkirk there weren't people of color soldiers waiting on the beach to be evacuated because they see everything from the prism of today not how it was.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLikestoRead View Post
What things do you research...
Things I don't know.

Quote:
... and what things don't you?
Things I know.

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Old 11-12-2017, 01:47 PM   #19
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I think I do some research, at least, on nearly every story I write. I usually have the story grounded in a specific time and/or place.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You're quite right ogg but on the other hand if a male character in the 1400's called his friend bro or dude or someone described themselves as being a cis straight male that would be even worse. If someone wants to create a fictional world where they create the rules of their universe it's fine with me. Just don't be like these idiots who lamented that in the recent movie Dunkirk there weren't people of color soldiers waiting on the beach to be evacuated because they see everything from the prism of today not how it was.
Black Doughboys (WW1) and GIs (WW2) were startled to be treated in England as normal folks. They were welcomed exactly the same as all Americans. There was some resentment because most British troops were already fighting elsewhere but they were also greeted as friends and allies. There was also curiosity in the civilian population. They were seen as great dance partners.

US commanders were worried that coloured troops would not reintegrate when they returned to the US. The US Army issued instructions that coloured troops should not go to the same venues as white troops.

The hostility among some civilians was against ALL Americans, not by colour.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:56 PM   #21
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I do enough research to keep howlers out of my stories. If I have a story set in the sixties, I'll make sure that there aren't any anachronisms in cars, pop stars, or products. Errors of geography are also fairly easy to avoid with a little care. Believe me, readers will notice if you have your characters leaving San Francisco by car and arriving in Los Angeles three hours later.

Other than that, I don't worry about it much.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:56 PM   #22
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Yes I do. Especially when I only have limited knowledge of the subject matter and I want the story to ring true.

In this story: https://www.literotica.com/s/an-affair-of-record I had to research the music. any commonalities between groups and songs, remakes, lyrics, and artists. I have a friend who is REALLY REALLY REALLY into musical trivia who also helped with some of the tidbits. (Like 'Dead Wax'.) He gave me much more than I could ever use so now my head is cluttered with nonsense but it's still research.

I don't do research for basic background stuff unless it's for a specific thing. Such as the aforementioned "leave SF by car and arrive in LA in 3 hours". I don't research street names unless they are important to the plot line and character development. On the other hand I also have no compunction against changing minor facts to suit the plot whenever necessary. This means I will make up names, places, situations, events, definitions, etc. whenever necessary because it's FICTION and reality doesn't matter when it comes to writing daydreams.

For instance; I read a story where the protagonist bought a 20 ga shotgun and took it out to learn how to shoot it. The writer started him off with the smallest shells - .28 ga. - and progressed to "the largest shell that could fit the gun" - 12 ga. - as he practiced loading and firing. Now, for me personally that was definitely WRONG but I didn't send the author a nastygram over it. In her universe set with supernatural creatures and magic, 20 ga. shotguns can handle 12 ga. ammo. The fact that in reality it doesn't work that way doesn't matter at all.

One should do enough research to not sound like a complete idiot but not get bogged down so far that the research becomes the story that never got written.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Just don't be like these idiots who lamented that in the recent movie Dunkirk there weren't people of color soldiers waiting on the beach to be evacuated because they see everything from the prism of today not how it was.
I get a little tetchy when people invoke "that's just how it was" as an excuse for all-white stories - be it WWII or Middle Ages - because almost invariably that's not how it was. The British Empire spanned the globe, and many Indians served in British forces in WWII, including over a thousand soldiers at Dunkirk. See e.g.:

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-08-...ps-dunkirk-too

They weren't a large proportion of the BEF, but it would be perfectly historically accurate to show a few Indian faces among those soldiers on the beaches, and there should be plenty among the Merchant Navy who assisted in the evacuation - by my understanding, about 20% of Merchant Navy sailors at the time were Lascar Indians.

There were also rather a lot of French troops involved in the fighting at that time, and of course many of them were drawn from French territories such as Algeria.

Meanwhile, India was making huge sacrifices over in the South-East Asian theatre, but you'll be waiting a very long time to see a blockbuster about that. If we're going to focus so heavily on the parts of the war that were dominated by white people, we could at least make a nod to the involvement of other groups.

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Old 11-12-2017, 04:48 PM   #24
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Absolutely.

I write professionally outside of Lit, and I definitely put a heavier burden of expectation on myself there. To be blunt, I'm going to try harder for a story that someone's gonna pay for. Part of that is my own time management, though; I'm keeping Literotica in the "just for fun" box. But that doesn't mean I don't still try to put out a good story, and that means looking stuff up.

I've spent the last couple weeks looking up an awful lot of stuff about money laundering, all for a story that's primarily about people having promiscuous sex.


Also: if you don't think there were people of color on the beach at Dunkirk, you are painfully mistaken. Same as all these people claiming medieval or ancient Europe didn't have people of color. This stuff isn't a matter of seeing the past through a modern lens. It's a matter of seeing the past as it actually was, and not the way it has been presented by historians and non-historians who would prefer to erase people of color (and women, and LGBTQ, and the list goes on).
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:28 PM   #25
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Research is half the fun. The moment I start researching on a subject I thought I knew something about is the moment that I realise how little I actually knew, and I'll literally spend hours making sure I get a paragraph correct. It annoys the living shit out of me when I get something wrong.

I love reading stories where the author can have their characters talk confidently about a subject. The only exception is when people do a play-by-play of a sports game. Intolerable. I'd rather the story turn incestuous than become a minute by minute replay of a baseball game.
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