Research, I Likes It

I'm a research nerd. Last night, I spent a whopping $90 on reference material. Topics included: Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, female archetypes, scrying and faeries.

I'm giddy, I tell you. Giddy.

For me, research is how I get all my best moments of inspiration. I'll take a little from book A, a skosh from book B, twist them together with a little imagination and bam a world is born.

This love of research has a long history. Back in college, I spent an entire semester obsessed with the subject of a project I did for a seminar art history class. The subject? Mandatum scenes as depicted on columns found in Romanesque cloisters. Mandatum is another term for foot washing. It's fascinating. Really. (Stop looking at me like that.)

Research is also an excellent way to pretend your working. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only writer who wastes hours and hours scouring books and the web for random facts.

Take the other day, I just had to know what metal the Tartarus Gates were made from. But I couldn't remember the phrase "Tartarus Gates." I just vaguely recalled reading about some underworld gates that were made from some metal not found on earth. I spent about twenty minutes trying to find the right gates, and then another fifteen reading everything I could find about them. Then, one I found the name of the metal (adamantine, for those interested), I had to research who else had used it in their books. Turned out a few had. So then I had to spend half an hour playing with word generators to come up with a new take on that name.

All this for one line in my book.

A waste of time or dedication to craft? You decide.


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