Thursday, October 15, 2015

Research—It Gets You in Trouble!

Doing research for your novels can get you in trouble, did you know?

At the moment, I wan't to believe that the FBI is closely monitoring all my activities. You see, I spent a good amount of hours looking into their infrastructures, locations, ranks, and many many more details of all things FBI. Obviously I needed it for my books. But like I said, I want to believe I've raised some kind of flag . . . the reality, however, is they saw me looking, they did a two minute check on me, laughed their butts off, rolled their eyes, and went out looking for the bigger scarier fishes out there. Pffft. I can be dangerous . . . ish. Ask my kids :D

So when I say research can get you in trouble—unless you're a real criminal—I don't mean with the big guys. I mean with more important people, like your family . . . 

. . . or  you know, people like your husband. Why are there so many half-naked men on your desktop, Darling SK? Oh, for my covers.  And why are there detailed descriptions of romantic scenes with your name and theirs? Well, I'm a writer. I have to put myself in the character's situation and . . . kidding, this didn't happen. But he has wondered if I'm working or enjoying myself when looking for casts. Like for Kevin. It wasn't my fault half the internet guys came up shirtless when I was looking. Or that it took a couple hours to find the right set of abs, I mean guy. But to answer his last question, of course I was working AND enjoying myself . . . it's the reward for the tough writing moments I go through.

You can also get in trouble with your kids. Umm, I may or may not have forgotten to make their dentist appointment the other day. Why? Well, I went online to look for the number and suddenly thought . . . hmm what if I have a fighting scene in a dental office? I need to know what equipments they have, the proper names, descriptions, etc. So then I spent the whole time researching and never make the appointment. But let's be honest, as writers, we all know this: by the time I'm done absorbing all the dentist-related information I'm a master and I can deal with my kids teeth check-up on my own. In fact I WILL call that office and demand they hire me . . . err, anyway . . . (Yes, I did finally make the appointment. Yes, I'll be taking notes while there. And yes, I'll be offering tips to the dentist, based on my knowledge.)

I can't imagine I'm the only one who gets sidetracked with research or who has questionable history in their browser. I mean, so what if we forget to make dinner because we're watching Netflix? It's research. What if you see an attractive person and you want to take a picture of them? It's for description purposes. What if you jump in and offer advice to complete strangers during their conversations? It's nosey-experimental research. Based on how your writing would go, you need to give them options and then listen in to see what happens. Or you know, run before they put a curse on you.

What are some of your funny experiences that happened because of research?


  1. I always wonder what happens when a writer commits a crime. There's no telling what any of our Internet histories have in them at any given time. We're likely to research the strangest things!

  2. Yes and it can get worse when research turns into an hour and a half of funny cat videos. I mean not that I would ever...O_O... but uh yeah research and stuff.

  3. HAHA...yes. Every. Single. Manuscript. When I was revising my last one, I wanted to know popular current hobbies boys like, besides baseball, and rather than just ask a friend who has kids, I got lazy and typed in something like "what do little boys like??" or "what are little boys into?" and thankfully realized how awful that looked before pressing enter. Then for this MS I keep googling airport layouts. oh boy! I always warn my parents that if we ever get a call from police I'll handle things

  4. I love this!!! I can definitely relate.
    My hubs came in one day when I was doing research and he was like . . . "I thought you were writing."
    Me: Well, I have do some research on orcas.
    Hubs: we live in the PNW and our daughters both have books on stuff like this because they thought they wanted to work with dolphins and/sharks as marine biologists for years before they changed their minds.
    Me: Well, I started with a search on hermit crabs, waterfront restaurants, and selkies.
    Hubs: ?
    Me: It makes sense with the story, really.
    Hubs: ? Well, I just don't want you to be frustrated that you didn't write anything today.
    Me: But, I did some writing (scribbled notes with two sentences)
    :) And, then there's the guy pictures on my pinterest boards - I keep telling my hubs that they are "warrior" pics for my characters.
    Hubs: mm-hmm. sure.

  5. I'm laughing while picturing you at the dentist's office, telling them how to do what they do. I remember when you offered to do my LASIK surgery because you'd watched your dad have his done, and how hard could it be?

    I still might take you up on it. You were pretty convincing.

  6. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing. I would have been super gutted the FBI weren't more intrigued :) My husband was rather worried when our daughter sent me a book in the post for my research - car bombs! "You're not thinking of tampering with my car are you? I've not upset you that much have I?" We did laugh.

  7. I'm pretty sure my name's on a watch list somewhere. My research usually entails how to use weapons and different ways of killing people - and for the trifecta of alarm-raising - I live in the Middle East. Like you, I reward myself with things when I'm sick of writing/editing. For me it's doing artwork (bot not the kind with abs on it!)

  8. Whew, good thing I don't have kids to neglect!

    Our newest novel is a complete slam of the NSA. We've both done tons of research on the NSA, how they spy on people, their corporate structure, etc. I don't even want to know what kinds of lists we're on right now. I wouldn't be surprised to open my bedroom window one day and see a drone blast off in panic at being sighted. Or open my door and get abducted by an agent and subsequently waterboarded.

  9. When I was in grad school, my thesis was on the Hitler Youth and I requested a copy of the Hitler Youth Manuel and read it. And now as a writer, I do research on random topics. Seriously, I'm not sure I want to know what "Big Brother" thinks. Ignorance is bliss.

  10. This reminds me I must clear my history! I just did a lot of "research" into sexting. I don't want my family to find that!

  11. Yes! Netflix is research! *fist bumps* I've been explaining this to my family for weeks, and they are just not believing it. But how else am I going to get some of those scenes and the feel and the...well, you know what I mean. As to half-naked men, Lol! Luckily for my husband's nerves, middle grade fiction doesn't take me there. Yet ;)

  12. you are the woman!
    i finally got to come read some of your recent posts...

    love what to do between books - read, yay! write and spend time with family - all the things to do!
    then there was your iwsg post - i am lucky to have some supporters, but i've been dismissed as well. i have to curb my enthusiasm around the masses, but i get to shine and shout on social media and blogging! i'm so glad i have friends like you to talk to and vent to and commisserate with and be supported by!!! and i think the masses dismiss us primarily out of jealousy because writing and publishing a book is quite an accomplishment!
    and i loved this research article - they'd laugh at me too! i'm soooo boring!

    thanks so much for all your tremendous support throughout my simulation release!