Today I’m thrilled to introduce MCV Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths, a love story and mystery centred around a plane crash off Danish shores just prior to World War II. She has very kindly agreed to do a guest post for me, and even offered her blog for me to post on as well! (You can find my post here if you are interested.) Anyway, you don’t want to read me rambling on, so without further ado, here she is!
To Write or Research?
Research in the 21st century is as easy as a quick Google search, watching a film or reading a book. Is it really that easy? I personally think it is not and that many of today’s writers suffer when their work is not backed up by the key component KNOWLEDGE.
As nonsensical as it may seem knowledge is the key component to writing a fabulous and concrete piece. Knowledge comes from experience and research. Is this too absurd, too obvious? Unless you have the educational background in what you write about and stick to just that ‘one subject’ it is not.
If you create a fantasy world to make it believable you need knowledge of how the key components of your landscape and atmosphere will affect the story line, the way the characters breathe, move, feel and exist.
If you write about a certain era you need the clothing, vernacular, and setting. Was that building there in 1890? Was that expression used?
Even in a story of the day, if you have a character of a certain age, how do they speak?
As wonderful and easy as the information superhighway is at providing facts and data right at our fingertips, it has also done so for our readers. The availability of information today has made it far more difficult for a writer; any bored reader can look up a thing or two. The very reader can besmirch your name by blogging about your lack of accuracy!
I personally like to use a wide variety of sources and some are on-line and some are old-fashioned magazines, newspaper microfilm, books, movies, documentaries and interviewing or observing people.
For my WIP I am hooked on Psychology Today. I had not touched a copy in years and I find that old copies are full of fantastic articles that have helped me enhance story line and have also provided some pretty cool and quirky ideas. I also people watch a certain age group; I do so in cyberspace as well as at Starbucks. I am not writing about 53 year old menopausal women fighting hot flashes. If menopause gets any worse I probably will soon!
I believe there are countless fantastic writers out there. In this era of blogging and the ease of communication I see it every day. The one key component that will make anyone standout in the fierce competition of the 21st Century wordsmith is knowledge. This goes to every aspect of a story; Characterization, setting, plot.
Get to know your characters in a level of familiarity that far supersedes what the reader will see. Understand what would make them tick even in areas that are not what you are writing about.
As a writer your awareness will guide the reader to experience the moment, the sound and the feel of it all.
When you have that feeling of eureka with the first draft be your own worst judge when you re-read and look up any fact that you could possibly question, as simple as would a 16 year old today, in the 1990s in the 1980s talk, dress or dance that way? Or as complicated as at what altitude does the thin air in a mountain make a climber hallucinate?
So what do you think? Was I that absurd and obvious?
MCV Egan lives in south Florida in the United States and is fluent in four languages. From a young age she was determined to solve the mystery of her grandfather’s death, which resulted in The Bridge of Deaths, the culmination of nearly twenty years of research and analysis. If you like the way she thinks, please go and follow her blog and, even better, check out The Bridge of Deaths, which can be found at Amazon and a number of other booksellers. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.