Work is under way on the first draft of my new sea monster story, and here’s a snippet of the research material I put together.
A bit of fun.
This thing happened the other day over Facebook: somebody posted this image…
… and I commented that the really scary thing was, I would not need to google at least three of those items.
My real problem would be the hits of 2007. Continue reading
I often write about the joys of doing research for what we are writing.
In general, I tend to do a lot of research “on the fly” when writing short fiction – like using Google to find out what’s the most popular brand of beer in Arkansas or the timetables of trains to and from Paris.
So, when I am writing short fiction – or when I get major doubts while cleaning up a first draft – my first stops are, unsurprisingly, Google and Wikipedia, with Pinterest (now that I can access it again) as the go-to place for visual references, and YouTube for action-related info.
For longer works, I still rely on books, and as far as online resources are concerned, I go for a MOOC whenever possible.
I think it was Mary Gentle (wonderful writer – her Rats and Gargoyles is highly recommended) that said that university courses are the best way to do all the research you need on a subject with the minimum of fuss. Continue reading
… and I’ve just crawled past 13.000.
This is going to be a loooong day.
And right now I need train timetables from Paris to Geneva and some simple, practical self-defense moves.
Sometimes writing takes us to some pretty unusual places… sometimes it takes us to old familiar places we have not visited in a long time.
Despite the general sleepiness that comes with Spring, I’m trying to clear my desk of my backlog of stories, articles and translations I need to deliver to my clients, and in the meantime I’m trying to work on a pair of submissions and a couple of self-published things.
The new Buscafusco story is 75% done, and I’d like to nail its box shut by the end of the month.
Also, the Dean Wesley Smith book Writing a Novel in Seven Days is making me itchy to try. As I mentioned, I did it once already, and the novel I wrote in eight days later became The Ministry of Thunder, of which I am well pleased, as are my readers (eight 5-star reviews! hooray!)
Now I’m wondering if it would be feasible to try and do a 42.000 words story about Aculeo & Amunet.
And then there is the bit about local traditions and folk horror. About six months ago I promised a friend a novel a-la Dan Brown to stimulate interest in the territory and lure tourists in these hills. Part of that project became the Buscafusco series, but the idea of a horror story set in the Piedmontese vineyards sounds more attractive every day. And as per original plan, might make enough people curious to give a minimal boost to local tourism.
Now, as I think I mentioned, the local spook-du-jour are the masche sort of witches/hags of peasant tradition – and my friend Fabrizio Borgio is an expert on the subject.
BUT, in a twist of research madness, I decided to look at another tradition that might provide ample food for stories… even Aculeo & Amunet stories.
Because this is a wine country, and wine means Dionysus. Continue reading
On the first day of August me and my brother launched our small-scale venture, RE:CON Service, a fast, cheap and reliable research outfit aimed at writers and game designers.
Research is important – no matter what some people think – and sometimes you can’t invest a week researching details for a story you will write in one afternoon.
It’s just anti-economic.
That’s where RE:CON comes to the rescue: you drop us a line, we discuss the depth and width of what you are looking for, we agree on time and budget1, and you get a report covering what you needed.
So how did it go? Continue reading