Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Research and James Bond

If you've read my bio you know that I used to be in the Army. I worked in Counterintelligence. People thought that was a glamorous job and always asked me if I was like James Bond. Hardly. It was mostly paperwork. Mostly. {wink}

Writing is sometimes seen as a glamorous job too. I used to look at the really successful writers and think -- wouldn't it be great to have their lives? They must be able to do the coolest things, have the nicest stuff ... experiences most of us could only dream of.

Some of that is true. They've worked hard for their success and have some pretty cool things to show for it. Every writer does research though and, depending on the project, the process is as varied as the author and the book being written. Nearly every book requires online and library research. The only exception I can think of would be memoirs. In some cases even they use resources to check facts. I read a lot of historical fiction and really admire the work those authors put into getting all the little details right. Many authors travel to settings in their books. Some try activities their characters regularly do - like riding horses.

I have two and a half writing projects I'm working on/researching right now. Two of them are novels and one is a sort of memoir about my journey with fibromyalgia. None of it has been as glamorous as a James Bond movie. lol I have an inspiration board full of notes and pictures, a folder bursting with information I've gathered from various sources, a couple books I've bought and I'm reading to try and make my characters sound more realistic, and I've done several interviews (so scary).

Glamorous or not, every author does research to try and make the final product the best it can be. Speaking of the best -- who do you think made the best James Bond?  ;o)

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