Another question for you writers out there! How do you do your research?
I know for the historical novelist this is going to be a much different kettle of fish than for us contemporary writers. I can't even imagine all the work that must go into historicals. From clothing to homes to speech to customs. It's daunting!!
For me I use a lot of Google. Thank God for Google! I can use it to see the interiors of private planes, take virtual tours of resorts and private islands and million dollar homes in Aspen. Oh, and Google Earth. I rely on it to kind of give me a sense of direction when I'm writing about places I've never been.
Then there's people watching.
I used to go to Starbucks to write, much more often than I do now, and I would always spend a good portion of my time listening (yeah, okay, eavesdropping) to people's conversations.
I heard a love story about a couple who met once in Australia and then again, by chance, or not, in Oregon. I listened to people meet each other, talk for hours, exchange phone numbers and make plans to meet again. I got to overhear a job interview for an exotic dancer position at a strip club. People are fascinating. There is a lot of good information to be gleaned from just listening to people talk.
Though I've never used direct snippets from these overheard conversations (because I've never had an exotic dancer in on of my MSs ;-) I feel like I've taken my observations about these people that are so different from me, and that I've been able to use it to help me with character development in my various MSs.
So, fellow writers, what are your research tricks?
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