Monday, October 25, 2010

Do your Homework.

This weekend was fun. The weather was beautiful so lots of family activites were planned. I did get to do some revisions which motivated me to do more. After a recent critique, I see what needs to be done. I cut and wrote new chapters like a crazy woman. No comments, please (on the crazy woman part). :) Of course, they need to be polished, but they are started which is a plus.

One chapter that I had cut a long time ago will be added back in with more guts. I realized that I may need to do research. That's right...research. I'm sure you're saying, "Why didn't she do this a long time ago." Well, I'm still figuring out my method of writing and let's just say, I will be outlining, researching, post it notes, etc. long before I can call what I have a first draft. The so called "first draft" I have now is a joke, but a good backbone. It needs lots of work.

We are told 'write what you know', but unless you are some super genius there's going to be a point where you will have to research something to understand a procedure or to write it in detail. Plus, we want to make sure our stories are authentic so our reader can be there with our characters. Feel them, love them.

Research for my chapter is going to be crucial. I do try to write what I know, but this one scene may need a little more knowledge. It has to do with the medical field. Emergency response to be precise. I'm no way an expert in this field. My first thought was Google it. I did and found some information, but I think I need more. Plus, I'm a visual person so talking one on one or even taking a peek at a video helps me a ton. Next, my aunt's a nurse so I emailed her the question. My next step is to email my sister in law and brother in law (both are doctors). I feel strange though because they may think what I'm doing is strange. And another step could be to ask an EMT, but how do I approach it? Do I just call the hospital and ask? This is where I would love your thoughts.

What are your research procedures?

Any suggestions?

How was your weekend?

Thanks guys. Have a great day!!


  1. My weekend was superfast! I love that picture by the way. It's gorgeous! I am a horrible researcher, Google is my very best friend when I have to do any sort of research.

  2. Ahh research... something that isn't always fun for me. I normally start 'writing what I know' if I spend too much time researching from the get go I realize I start to lose myself. Writing the story out first is what works best for me, I'll make notes of what I want to research and during revisions I elaborate by searching the internet, watching movies, reading books, the works!

  3. I try writing what I know... but, it's not always that easy. I turn straight to the web when starting out on researching, if you know where to look and have the patience, you can find anything.

  4. Super picture, BTW. I'm an index lover. Yup, sad but true. I surf the web for whatever topic I need info about, usually create a folder for that specific project and bookmark any sites there, and jot important notes on index cards.

    Not a fab system, but it works for me.

  5. oh - i'm so lucky with the medical stuff. our best friend is a doctor - so i just asked him!

    that photo is amazing. i want to write a short story just about that staircase!

  6. I google, but your EMT question might require you to contact your local branch or association. I had an EMT question, too. But it wouldn't help me to contact mine because I live in Canada and my story takes place in a small made up city in Minnesota. I looked up the EMT procedures for the state and found the info I was looking for. It pretained to minors and if they can refuse transport by EMS to the hospital. Turns out, nope. They can't. This was very important for my novel. ;)

  7. Interview an EMT? I'd jump at that. They are my 'crush' in uniform!! I attended a writing event and the speaker said face interviews are important for research. When conducting, make sure to bring a recorder AND take notes. People tend to talk more when your writing and not making a lot of eye-contact, he said. Interesting!

  8. ooh those stairs are awesome!
    I've never had to do A LOT of research so i don't think i can help you there. I just google stuff as i go

  9. How funny, there must be something in the air, I had a research problem just this weekend too, just blogged about it too. Mine was a location question, I googled and then realised - I should've just emailed my friends who live in the location. Which I did and I got great info back. ;)

  10. What fun research! My research usually involves going to the library, but talking to an EMT sounds much more fun! Maybe your relatives know someone? Or you could just cold call them: I'm sure they wouldn't mind talking about their job. They have to have some amazing stories, too.

  11. Outside of hitting the library and doing a Google search, I think you've got it covered.

  12. hi miss christine! mostly if i dont know something i ask my brothers or my sister. they could always tell me where i could get answers on the net or at the library. for me if i had that medical question id just do what youre gonna do and ask a medical person and maybe even a few more of them. i hope you could get all that you need for your writing.
    ...hugs from lenny

  13. Research? *snort* I've yet to really delve into that.


    Every monday she answers a medical question for writing. They're usually pretty fun. Drop her a line and I'm sure she'd appreciate the topic. She's a doctor so she knows what she's talking about and she writes so the crazier the scenario, the more fun it will be for her. Best of luck!



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  16. Yay for revisions and motivation!

    Usually for research I either talk to someone directly (someone I know) or find someone who would know through the blogosphere. There are tons of people on here with tons of different backgrounds, ask away!

  17. I'm like you - it's pretty much an ad hoc thing! I use the internet a lot, and talk to people I know. I'm also a big fan of Google Maps, if I need to research locations.

  18. I love the photograph! I also write what I know - and also get books as references and search the internet.

  19. ...we're told to write what we know, (but it's okay to spread our wings a bit:)

    Great post Christine!

  20. It sounds as if you're on the right track for researching what you need. Internet is good -- specialists are better.

    Here's a suggestion: Rather than randomly call the fire department and ask to speak to EMT's, you might send out a few all-calls on Twitter. Maybe somebody will know a fellow Tweeter who'd be willing to answer some questions by email. Or you could search Blogger for EMT's and see if any look friendly enough to help you with your research.

    We've got a social network here -- let's make it work for us!

  21. Blech. I hate research.

    The Compuserve forum (linked on my sidebar) has a Research and Craft folder where questions like this are posed. There is such a large and varied number of members, almost always someone has a great answer - or five. There are a few nurses there...

  22. I do tend to write what I know, and/or what I make up. :D But I do research usually. Particularly on geographical information, and that sort of thing. I use mostly the internet, but do go to personal sources for info like what you're talking about. I interviewed my friend's husband about a forensics crime scene once. He's a public defender.

  23. My procedures sound a lot like yours. I start with Google, then ask friends or family members who many be helpful. That's been enough so far, so I haven't had to approach any strangers with odd questions yet, but I can certainly see where that will be necessary at some point. For medical questions, Lydia Kang is a doctor and she runs a Medical Mondays feature where she answers reader's questions.