Thursday, September 11, 2008

Research

I'm gearing up for this year's NaNoWriMo. I have my idea and the (first) name of my main character (Quinton, mostly because I like writing Q's). I need to think up a title and I need to decide what I want to accomplish in the story. I also need to do some research.

I went to the library today and checked out two books on steamships. Steamships! Yes, my book is going to take place largely on a steamship, partly magically powered (it's a fantasy, after all), and I need to know at least a little bit about ships in general and steamships in particular.

Since I use NaNo to try new things out (like my 2005 book, which was the first time I ever used an outline; or my 2006 book, which I partly dictated), this year I'll try actually really researching a subject instead of relying on my vague but broad knowledge of any given subject (comes from reading widely and not remembering details well) and making up the rest. I'll even take notes! About steamships!

6 comments:

J M McDermott said...

Good luck!

I'm a big fan of the word dirigible. Anytime I'm reading something with a dirigible, it makes me happy.

Use the word dirigible 10,000 times, and that's like 1/4 of your Nano book that I'm happy about. You're almost there!

Jeremy Kelly said...

How do your Nano books usually end up. Do you usually end up with something substantial that you can work on in the future?

K.C. Shaw said...

Hmm, how many dirigibles can I add to my book? Wait--it's a NaNo book! I can add as many as I like!

K.C. Shaw said...

So far I've done Nano three times and "won" three times. I always end up with something I like. The first one is actually one of my favorite projects (an agent recently requested the full manuscript, so here's hoping); the second (from 2006) I only just finished this year--and it came in at 130-some thousand words ultimately; and I just got a request for the full manuscript of the third, from a small publisher.

But YMMV, of course. It's a lot of fun, though!

Catherine J Gardner said...

Steamships rock - I think I'm going to like this book. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

Me too--it's about a guy who's sent to collect rare animals from little-explored countries. And it's a fantasy world, so I get to have fun with cryptozoology too!