Friday, April 5, 2013

Using Research to Your Advantage

My apologies for not posting these past few days. The non-blogging part of my life (NaNo book writing) has taken up every waking moment this week.

Here's my writing advice for the day... research is boring, and takes away time from writing, but can be useful in the long run.

As an example, let's say you want to write about skipping a stone across water, but have not ever tried it. You can:
  • read about the physics of why skipping stones works,
  • read about the environmental impact (increased erosion due to lack of rocks on beaches), 
  • practice skipping stones yourself
The added benefit of doing all this research is that you can use all of it in a scene. Try writing a different character to speak about each part of the research, or a single character who answers different questions about skipping stones.

In the writing prompt below, I've written the physics research of skipping stones. Expand the writing with the other research.

 Writing Prompt: He understood why the stone bounded and jumped over the water's surface. It was a direct effect of the flat expanse of the stone's lower side striking against the water without breaking the surface tension. Of course, not everyone appreciated him skipping stones. His neighbor from across the lake stumbled over the rocky shoreline, giving him the evil eye for pitching stones from the lake's shore into the deep, still waters. He just knew they were about to argue, and he didn't want to hear it...

Have fun, and keep writing!

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