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What's the funniest research you've ever had to do for your fantasy novel?

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ruby, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    Hnn. Off the top of my head, the alien world would gain a third of a year for every year on earth, so every three earth years would be four alien ones. And assuming the calenders started at the same time, it'd be something like this?:
    (2015 x 0.333) = 664.95 + 2015 = 2679.95


    Mine isn't really funny, but this week I found out that hot glass is kind of spongy. And cutting it is like cutting an orange peel. Now I just need to figure out how to include that in a story. . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
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  2. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Thanks Shreddies, I shall use that.
    The funniest research I've done this week was to watch Sleepers by Woody Allen, to see what it would be like to wake up in a futuristic world. :eek:
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    This may not count as funniest research of the week, since it was painful rather than funny, but today before the Superbowl got underway I read a sporking of Stephenie Meyer's The Host to see what not to do when writing about body-snatching aliens.

    And, oh, Dear Lord, the fail. Stephenie thought she was being all clever, making the aliens the alleged heroes--they're supposedly peaceful and harmonious and live in perfect unity--and portraying humans as vicious, animalistic, and brutal. However, all she did was make me--and the sporker--hate the aliens with every fiber of my being and recoil several times at the pure horror of the implications she's seemingly unaware of in her content.

    Yeah, I think I know how not to write my body-snatching aliens now. Thanks, Meyer.

    I don't know whether I should be more upset over the Patriots' win, or the the fact that the little book of horrors I just got a glimpse of is published and has a movie based on it.
     
  4. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    The least expected research I did this week was finding out the origin of being found under a Gooseberry Bush.

    Apparently Gooseberry Bush was 19th century slang for pubic hair, and so 'found under a Gooseberry Bush' became an innocuous (and humorous) way of avoiding awkward answers when a child asked where they came from.
     
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  5. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Hi, the funniest research I did this week was about fashion during the 1960's. My Victorian heroine has time travelled and I thought she could land in London in 1962 and be shocked by seeing mini skirts, but further research revealed that mini skirts weren't worn until at least 1965.:eek: Luckily, the time machine's time tracking system is not very accurate so I've just changed the year. I must add that having the internet is very useful if you want to check what day of the week it would be in any particular year. :)
     
  6. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    So 1965 was the year mini skirts changed lives everywhere? :D

    This week, I did probably the most boring research of my life. Had to look up what uniforms the Russian military wore in the late 1700s. A yawn inducing search indeed. Did I learn anything of value? Yes. That I should make details like that up from now on.
     
    Ruby likes this.
  7. Velka

    Velka Sage

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    I just spent 45 minutes listening to vulture sounds on youtube trying to figure out how to describe it.

    I'm pretty sure my dog hates me and needs therapy now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
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  8. Panda

    Panda Troubadour

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    Just thought I'd point out that, if you read the list of threads in the Research forum at the moment, it reads:

    What's the funniest research you've ever had to do for your fantasy novel?
    Where do babies come from?

    Well honey, when two characters in a fantasy novel love each other very much....

    "We're being sieged? Okay, get the burning oil to the murder hole, the archers to the arrow slits, and give some beans to that one guy who has IBS."

    As for me, I haven't researched anything funny, but I did find it a bit horrifying the other day when I realized that my browser's recent history was basically nothing but articles about medieval weaponry, torture methods, PTSD, and the TVTropes entry for "Fascinating Eyebrow." Either I'm researching for a fantasy novel, or I'm a deranged psychopath...
     
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  9. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    Well, according to the omniscient being known as wikipedia, it's a scream: List of Animal Sounds. :D Unless you're working out an onomatopoeia, in which case I have no idea...


    This week I looked into the uses of fruit stones, and what orchard owners (who presumably make jams and preserves) would do with them. Turns out you can use the kernel (the fleshy bit inside the stone) of any stone fruit to make almond extract. And apparently Apricot stones are a common source of 'Natural Almond Extract'.
     
    Ruby likes this.
  10. I was writing a combat scene between a human and a dwarf, but I was stuck at a particular place. I didn't know how the human would react to the dwarf placing a heavy boot on his arm, pinning him to the ground. I went into my brothers room, laid on the floor, and told him to place his foot on my arm and put as much weight onto it as he could. From there I was able to choreograph the fight exactly as I wanted it.
     
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  11. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling

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    ^So I assume this ends with the human nutting the dwarf in the balls and giving him a wedgie?
     
    Ruby likes this.
  12. More or less, yeah. The dwarf ran and told his mom on the ranger.
     
  13. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    The funniest research I've had to do for my fantasy novel occurred a couple of days ago whilst I was watching Paddington. This is a relatively new film about Paddington Bear.

    I'm writing a time travel book on Wattpad in which an alien travels in an old fashioned telephone box. I needed to know which way the door opens, and one of the characters in Paddington used a public phone to call the villainess.

    It goes to show that even when you think you are procrastinating, you're actually writing your book! :)

    There aren't many telephone boxes in London these days, no doubt due to the invention of the mobile phone. :eek:
     
  14. Giya Kusezu

    Giya Kusezu Dreamer

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    Military tactics and weapons/materials used. This is still ongoing for me. I'm always reading up on strategies or weapons used in the past so that I can try to create more believable battle scenes in my books.

    Also, if removing enough mined material from the Earth's moon would throw off its mass, thereby affecting its gravity and pull on the Earth :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  15. Panda

    Panda Troubadour

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    Isn't that the plot of Dr. Who?
     
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  16. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Hi Panda,

    It's not exactly the plot of Doctor Who as my time traveller doesn't use a phone box, but another alien does!

    Doctor Who actually uses a police phone box for time travel.The red telephone box I researched is different to this. However, I agree that the story is a bit derivative.

    My story is a comedy and differs from Doctor Who in many ways. You can read it if you click on my Wattpad link below. I hope you like it! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  17. Philster401

    Philster401 Maester

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    There was another show like that I saw something about it was an old television show that used a red telephone box and they time traveled but I don't think they were aliens though.
     
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  18. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Hi Philster401,

    I'd be interested to know what the show was.

    It shows you that there's nothing original under the sun. Like there are only supposed to be 7 basic plots.

    I guess it's what you do with it that makes it different. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  19. Panda

    Panda Troubadour

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    I just read the first two chapters and I'll probably read the rest later. It's a good story, but...

    ...it's about a time-traveling alien who looks like an eccentric Englishman and travels with a female English companion in a time-traveling phone box that's bigger on the inside. :confused2:
     
    Ruby likes this.
  20. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Thanks for reading it, Panda.

    I must admit I didn't realise it was like Doctor Who until someone pointed it out to me!

    BTW there is a problem on the Wattpad site and so my chapters have suddenly appeared in the wrong sequence. :eek: Apparently they're trying to sort it out. It's affecting those of us using Android. It shouldn't be a problem if you check the number of the chapter before reading.

    PS If it is Doctor Who, I'll cast David Tennant as Alastair and Billie Piper as Amanda! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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