Wednesday, 30 September 2015

35 Day Blog Challenge - Day 18: Planning for Pantsers - the Plot (2)

Now that you have chosen the character and set the direction for your story, it is time to put some clothes and shoes on it, ie research. Now before you rush off to the nearest library (I hope!) or burn the keys on your computer with enthusiasm, stop!
What do you need to research?
When you decided on the setting of your story, it set you on the path for step 1. If it is a fictional place, you can make up the details. If, however, it is a real place, and you don't know it personally, research is required. But make a list!
Where in the town/city/community is your story placed?
Do you need street names?
Are there businesses or factories or houses? Is it a harbour? What kind of shipping does it cater for?
What other distinctive landmarks do you need? Historical monuments or buildings? A river, or bridges?
Only research what you need. You can get so engrossed in the information, that you will gather too much, and waste time with information you don't need and are never going to use.

The next important thing is time. When does your story take place? A hundred years ago? Prehistoric times? Two thousand years from now? Is it set in World War I?
Of course the future cannot be researched, so you have to use your imagination, but also a little savvy given the genre of your story. Science fiction will have gadgets and smart computers, whereas two days after Armageddon, who knows?

Real historical events require more in-depth research, but again, only find out what you need to know. And be aware of the circumstances that people lived in at the time. No mobile phones, food shortages, wars, etc.

Now your story has character, you dressed it in the proper threads and you wave it on its way with a tear and a smile.

See you tomorrow!

If you want to see what the other participants are blogging about, you can find their blogs here. Why not pop on over and leave a comment?