Research has been the backbone of much of my writing. I can't imagine writing any piece--fiction or nonfiction--without a sense of having a more intimate knowledge of the circumstance or place. In the beginning stages of outlining, I find the research fun, my mind stimulated by the possibilities for how the story can develop. What began as a foray into the unknown becomes a treasure trove of tenable opportunities for story and character.
|The Glorious Return Trail coming down into Les Chapieux|
Halfway through Undaunted Valor, Alessandro has obtained intel that Luciana has been sequestered in a stone cottage in the mountains, but the exact location is unknown. Jamie and Alessandro have to hike a portion of the Glorious Return trail to find her, running into all sorts of snags they don't anticipate. Since I had followed portions of the ancient trail, I knew where I wanted to place the ruined stone cottage, and I added a rainstorm immediately upon their find of the hideout to add ambiance to the mood.
|A Stone Cottage near the Glorious Return trail, Les Chapieux|
If you're a writer, reading this and feeling discouraged because you don't have the funds to travel, I encourage you. Your research is literally a click away. It's fun, stirs the imagination, and often provides just the right impetus to get you started.
I know many people don't like to do the work of research, but I've discovered sometimes even the bunny trails lead to something I can use. If you're a writer and have been hit by writer's block or you're at a place where you need a new idea, move your computer mouse right now and click on Google. You'll be surprised by what you find. It might even be your own treasure trove of tenable opportunities!
Donna Wichelman was a communications professional before writing full-time. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications and lives her dream writing novels and screenplays. She and her husband work with teens at their local church in Fort Collins, Colorado. They travel, bike and kayak whenever their schedules allow.
For more information about Donna and her writing projects, visit her website at www.donnawichelman.com
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