Sigh, research

Discussion in 'Research' started by Garren Jacobsen, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    I don't wanna do it. And this thread is here basically to piss and moan while I do it. You can join in too!
     
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  2. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    Problem the first: the research tool I am doing is not what I am used to. So that is one big barrier to entry. But I'm using it. Clunky as it is.
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Istari

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    Research, ew. I know the feeling. Today I decided to write a sequence set in Massachusetts around the time of the Salem witch trials, despite the fact that I know close to nothing about 17th century Massachusetts. Took a crash course on Puritan society with the help of google and jstor and I'm now feeling (slightly) more confident.
     
  4. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    Yeah, I get bored with it. And the problem here is that I am doing research in a field that I am confident in doing research. But it's a whole different area and it's basically me doing work work not writing work. And I lack motivation to do it. Kill me.
     
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  5. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    Dangit research, I want to be made at you. But then you have to throw in an interesting nugget that I hadn't anticipated until now.
     
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  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    When you say you don't like research, what exactly do you mean by research? Is it constructing search strategies? Is it the actual reading? Is it extracting relevant information and recording it? Is it making the leap from the found information to planning and writing? Can you give an example?
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I'm an academic, so research is home ground for me. I enjoy general reading about new topics, but I also enjoy trying to run down a specific data point when it could be just about anywhere. You youngsters with your interwebs just don't appreciate the labor that goes into text-based research (as distinct from experiments and measurements). Nowadays, finding information is ridiculously easy. Confirming that it's reliable information is another matter, but one of the things I love about writing fantasy is that the information doesn't need to be true, it only needs to be usable. <g>

    I taught history for thirty-five years, so I also know how much of a struggle research can be. It comes naturally to some, but to those for whom it is difficult and mysterious, research can be a real slog.
     
  8. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Ugh, hear ya. I have to do a lot of research for my novels, too. Eras I love and whatnot, but still a pain when I rather be writing or playing Fallout. J/s.
     
  9. Ban

    Ban Staff Article Team

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    Can I hijack this thread by saying the opposite?

    *Sigh* I don't want to write, I just want to research for my worldbuilding. Way more fun.
     
  10. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I usually do research for inspiration, rather than academic accuracy, which I don't find to be too bad. I usually call it wikireading, though, and not research. I was doing it all last month trying to worldbuild for my sprites - researching fairy-like beings in mythology and RPGs and whatever other information I might use from Celtic or Finnish mythology. It can get tedious after a while, depending on what your goals are, or how completionist you get about glancing through all the relevant wikipedia tabs.

    I finished my worldbuilding goals for it yesterday, the end of the month, as planned. :)

    Real academic research can be brutal, though, and I'm glad to be done with it. That's not to say I wasn't good at it, but it wasn't enjoyable for me at all.
     
  11. FifthView

    FifthView Istari

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    Waaaaaaaay back in high school, I developed the habit of not doing my reading assignments for non-English non-reading courses, and hardly ever did homework before about 15 minutes prior to when I had to hand it in, and never studied for tests. I didn't need to, really; I picked up almost everything I needed through lectures, or else could work out the problem or issues on-the-spot.

    This has basically continued to the present day. I hate having to do research. However, I do love reading in topics that interest me naturally, so I pick up a lot as I go along. Favorite topics are science-related, but these can span from astronomy to archaeology and anthropology. Sociology, psychology (to a lesser extent) and history also interest me, so I read for recreation in those topics.

    There are times I think that my primary interest in secondary-world fantasy is simply the fact that I don't have to do much authentic research for it. If I were to write any book set in the contemporary world or historical Earth periods—or else, were to attempt writing hard science fiction—I'd be forced to research many more things.
     
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  12. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    I mean this specific bit of research I have to do. I am looking up criminal laws in various states trying to figure out which state will be the "closest call" I wanted to pick Utah, but their damn insanity laws suck. And I have to do this legal research without the benefit of using Westlaw, which suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks because I don't have all the fancy bells and whistles to make my life easy like I have at my job job. In short, my hobby is requiring to do work-work and I don't like it.
     
  13. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    You keep your positivity out of my rant thread!
     
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  14. Ban

    Ban Staff Article Team

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    I'm not sure it's positive. Liking writing more than research actually gets a book written.


    ..So you're the positive one, HAH!
     
  15. I was almost the exact opposite; I got my work done amazingly quickly. I inherited a massive work ethic from my mum [or was taught to have one]. Still, I'm the same when it comes to loving reading about topics that I'm super interested in.

    I don't research; I just pick up tidbits of information while reading anything, really.
     
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  16. FifthView

    FifthView Istari

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    I have had to do some research even for secondary world fantasies. Things almost everyone researches at some point when doing these kinds of worlds. Travel times/speeds. Different weaponry, armor, architectural terms and designs for forts and palaces. Foods. That sort of thing.

    It's a little tedious, but it helps greatly. I do feel I've limited myself somewhat by doing only the basics. I've actually bought some books to help, like a giant tome on Anglo-Saxon England or a book that explores "Peasant Families in Medieval England" called The Ties that Bound, by Barbara A. Hanawalt. But these sit on the shelves unread so far, and I've had them about 8 months.
     
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  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Hanawalt is excellent. You won't go wrong there.
     
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  18. summondice

    summondice Journeyman

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    As someone currently having to fact-check an insane number of items under very tight time constraints (author wants to publish by the end of the month and I'm now in Chapter 3 with my fine-toothed comb), please do the research, for your editor's(') sake(s).

    Because I'm with ya...man would I rather be writing than researching right now! *pops some more ibuprofen and continues to google "medieval + X" where X is anything from "sugar cubes" to "baths" to "packets". Sigh.* :)
     
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