Researching the WIP

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I am not doing NaNo, but I have committed to getting as much work done on my W.I.P. as possible.  It is a crime novel/murder mystery series. I don’t have a title for the first book, or the series yet, and I am still in the research phase.  This week my research involves the following:

Confer with Dr. G. the Orange Co. M.E. (yet again) re: murder weapons and stab wounds/DNA testing in 2005

Cold case procedure

Osceola Co. jail

The Parliament House Resort, Orlando

Melbourne seaside parks

I-95 exits near Melbourne

Slang used in the Trans community

Alternate lifestyles

Golf Course acreage

Asian (Vietnamese language and customs)

Little Saigon

Airboats

Bass fishing boats

Maps for Big Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho)

East lake Toho

Southport Park

Seasonal water weeds growth patterns

Martial arts

Self-defense for women

Glock handguns

Chuluota Sporting Club/ Gun Range

Trucks and cars in the year 2005-8

Maps of Intersession City topography

Military police

Yeehaw Junction’s Road Kill Café and Brothel

Human trafficking statistics

Dry cleaning chemicals

St Cloud diners

Disney and other resorts

Restaurant, Population, and Hotel statistics in Orlando area

Florida weather patterns in 2005 and 2008

With what I have already written in my former WIP that was scraped, this research should take me at least through chapter five or six.  I am a stickler for accurate details so this should be fun.  There will much more research as we move into the politics of the murder victim’s spouse, his partner, and the psychological implications of the children involved.

I am trying to keep the chapters short and to the point. Many of these items I already know something about, but accuracy adds to realism, so I am checking some facts.  I love learning and actually visiting the places I write about, so I will be out a lot of the next week or so and then have more focus on my writing.

I know this seems like a lot of research, but there is very little that I need to know about some of these items, as I already have some experience, and others there is much to learn.

I like that this is really starting to gel well in my mind.  The plot and subplots are coming together very well.  I have several crimes in mind that can carry this story arc across several books without losing the primary theme.  I also like the often misunderstood dynamics of alternate lifestyles being a primary focus.

Oh yeah!  I forgot to add this pic:

desk 007

The desk you could not see for all of the papers in previous posts. I cleaned it up yesterday.  Probably the cleanest you will ever see my desk for the next six months, or so.  I do have about five spiral bound notebooks for jotting down details, even though I am trying to use Scrivener more effectively this time.

35 thoughts on “Researching the WIP

    • LOL…My browser history would probably land me in jail if my computer was ever taken in for forensic purposes. I just had to add the pic of my desk to this post as I have showed it inundated with paperwork in previous posts. I actually cleaned it up yesterday. 🙂

  1. We must be a special sub-group of fiction writers–those who strive for this degree of accuracy, whether historical, geographical, linguistic or just plain factual. I am constantly jolted when stumbling over some minor error which pulls me out of the “reality” of the fictional moment. I’m certain one or two of these appear somewhere in my about-to-appear debut novel, despite my very best efforts, but it isn’t from lack of research. I’m just surprised by the number of errors I find in major-label publishing house books for renowned authors. Perhaps the general public no longer cares, as long as the story moves them along? I’m hoping that as indie publishing makes further strides we self-police ourselves a bit on this to win greater credibility.

    • I totally agree. My last book was Historical Fiction in the 50s and 60s, and I tried very hard to have as much accuracy as possible and the dates moved along smoothly. Then, I discovered that The Varsity restaurant in Atlanta had a drive-in but not a drive through, so I pulled it and rewrote those two paragraphs. The joys of indie writing allowed for that. Nobody had mentioned it, but I knew and that was enough.

      • I’m reading Red Clay & Roses right now and enjoying your attention to detail as much as the well-crafted story. My thought is simply this: if we miss an accuracy point or two, it is after all historical fiction, so there has to be a little wiggle room on the fiction end of things, right? I just took my first proof copy in hand when it arrived last night, and was happy to spot one minor formatting error…allows me to justify a few detail changes of the sort we are discussing. Thanks for the blog conversation and the fine writing.

        • Wow. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy. I didn’t start off writing a novel of sorts, it just turned out to be one. There are some things I might have done differently, if I had it to do over again. But I am pretty well satisfied that it gets the messages across.

  2. What an amazing amount of research but I can understand the fascination with gathering up and drinking in every minute detail. I wish you the best of luck with it and I cannot wait to get my hands on the fruits of your labours! Desk looks great, what a lovely workspace and what a great footrest! 😀

    • This is just the beginning on the research. I want my books to have a sense of depth to them that comes from realism. Even when they are pure fiction. Captain, he keeps my toes warm even without the fuzzy slippers.

  3. Even though my genre is memoir, you exhaustive list is a sort of “template” to use when researching various locations. “There’s something under every rock, it seems!”

    • This is just the beginning. There will be so much more when the plot thickens. I am afraid if I didn’t make a list, I would forget something important. Then, I have to stop the flow of the writing process to look something up and that can be both time consuming and distracting.

  4. Dang. That seals it for me, no crime drama will be written by Papi. I did some research into serial killers a year back or so, so much so the Librarian was looking at me funny the last time I dropped off books. I decided to “shelve” that potential story. Maybe I’ll just write naughty books. So long as you call the body parts by the right name, that is all people seem to care about… 😀

    • I got most of this research done today. I study like I am at university preparing for a test. I have some maps to review for a fictional town/community, but beyond visiting a few parks, I am done (oh yeah, I’ll need to revisit human trafficking later). The martial arts was the toughest study. I have a pile of notes.

      When you start checking out serial killer books, and ways to kill people, or how to make bombs, you can get funny looks. Same goes for your browser history.

  5. So, I left you a mile long comment on the other post the other day about your prologue. I mean seriously, the thing was like three pages long. and it got eaten by wordpress. what is going on around here? So What I am trying to say is that I saw your pug and forgot what i was going to say. Hi captain!

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