I am currently looking through one of three ENORMOUS books I got from the library about fancy shmancy architecture. It's for my novel, you see, the beginning of which is set in a very large house. I'm staring at pictures of early American mansions, the mind is running wild, and this brings me to a very interesting point (well...interesting to me, anyway).
In my humble opinion, anyone who wants to write fantasy (specifically...but I'm sure other genres as well) needs to do ONE THING very well. Not record their dreams, not plan out their plots, not even read voraciously.
They must RESEARCH.
Hold on, GLS! Research in a fantasy novel? Isn't the point of a fantasy novel that you don't NEED to research because you're making it all up?
I ask you...how could I POSSIBLY create a good description of the palatial mansion I'm trying to write about if I don't know anything about houses in the era I'm thinking of? Not only that, but what happens if I've done no planning and I miss out on all of the fantastic possibilities that research affords me: detailed photos of what houses looked like in the old days, color schemes, floorplans, rooms I didn't know existed, patterns...etc.
Besides the practical, it's also very inspiring to fill your head with these pictures and the colors. The colors!
Truly, one of the best parts about writing is the problem-solving. It's the figuring out connections and making them work for you. And research plays a huge part in that.
In other news, I have done another gutsy thing! After a few weeks of hemming and hawing over it, I signed up for a one-time Irish Folksinging class coming up in mid March at a local folk music store. Sure, it's going to be a little awkward...but I really am interested in Irish folksinging, and so I thought this would be a good introduction to see if I like it!
I love Fridays. I love that it was a good, wholesome, solid Friday. But now, it is time to bring that Friday to a close.