Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Research and Writing

Good morning, world. Today, we are discussing the importance of research when writing. I know that sounds horrifically boring, but it's actually not.

You see, fellow readers and writers, research is a HUGE part of what we do. In fact, research came up during my signing event this past weekend.

I was asked how I did my research for Unbreakable Hostage as far as the CSI and police work. To which I jokingly answered, "CSI."

It's true. I'm a CSI junkie. The original, though. And I was addicted to that one LONG before my stint out in Vegas.

In all seriousness, though, in addition to my CSI addiction, I have 10 years of medical experience under my belt. Two of my partner's brothers are cops. I guess I was just lucky that I didn't really need to do much research for that book. Now yes, some did need to be done - about algebra, GPS, California geography and yes, some CSI stuff.


Because EVERY BOOK NEEDS RESEARCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Being a nerd, research is quite enjoyable for me. I love to learn new thing, and it makes me break out those uber-sexy nerd glasses!

For Imperfect, I had to do a lot of research about AIDS, AIDS research, AIDS treatment, the physiological effects of medicines on AIDS patients and so on.

Let me make this fun for ya, k?

If I had not done my research and had someone come up positive for AIDS as a result of a blood transfusion in 2000, that wouldn't be believable, now would it? No. Because by then, HIV/AIDS testing was standard across the country and had been for some time. I set the transfusion to take place in the early 1980s when AIDS was just being discovered, and testing was no standardized. Some places were beginning to test donors' blood, but it was not across the board.

Now, by the same token, if I had set this in the 1920's, it wouldn't be believable because AIDS was not a known disease back then. Polio, maybe, but not AIDS. Antibiotics hadn't even come out onto the market yet. People were only just beginning to learn the differences between virsuses and bacterium. Not gonna work well with my AIDS theme, huh?

I also had to do a TON of research on the evolution of computers, various viruses that shut companies down and all that jazz. That bored me to tears, but it is crucial in the time line of Imperfect. We may not always want to research certain topics, but if it's in our story, then we must.

Albeit a quick blog today, I want you all to consider the importance of research in writing. If you don't know your subject, your readers will figure that out quickly. Be honest with them! They bought your book - they gave you money! The least you can do is give them the truth! They need and deserve the facts. So do your characters. So please, before you venture off on your next great novel, be sure that your information is correct. Fiction is great, when it's believable!

Happy reading! :)

No comments: