Those who can’t write…

…research! Not that I can’t write at the moment. I’m doing some of that. But I’ve found that when I just can’t put fingers to keyboard to write, I can put hand to mouse to research. Wow, that was…convoluted.

My current WiP draws from a lot of ancient/traditional legends and magic. Cherokee, West African, Chinese, I’m pulling from everywhere. And that means I’m spending a lot of time on the internet researching all the ways those cultures might repel ghosts, for instance.

I’m also researching how the different cultures use herbs and herbalism for both medicinal and spiritual purposes. If any of you know any good herbalism websites, I’d love to hear them. I have a few already, but a second opinion is always good.

Today, I’m going to be making a list of herbs and rituals I’ve already used. I’m only on the third chapter of my WiP, but if I get too far ahead without doing this, I’ll forget what I’ve used and what I’ve used it for. At this stage in my last project, I started my “writing bible”, where I jot down names and brief descriptions of characters, locations and rituals or practices I’ve made up. I’ve found it makes me feel grounded and encourages me to keep going. I often realize I’ve done more work than I think, and that is always uplifting. ^_^

Do you keep a “writing bible”? Even if you call it by another name? Different than an outline, it’s a list of everything you’ve already done so you can remember that you called second-guard-from-the-left Morrison in case he pops up later, or that your main character is wearing blue a lot. She has a favorite color and I didn’t even know it! ^_^ It’s also an opportunity to use lots of different pens!!! Which is the most important part, of course.

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9 thoughts on “Those who can’t write…

  1. That’s a cool idea for a story. Good luck with that. I like the idea of a writing bible. I mostly work on picture books and other short stories, but if I get to longer things, it will be most helpful. I’m with you on the pens! I use themmostly for story mapping and storyboards.

  2. I do the bible when it’s a particularly complex story, especially if there are a lot of foreign words or rituals.

    I wish I had some good links to share. I used several herbal concoctions in Touch Of Fire and a little in Apocalypse Rising. But mostly I just looked up what I wanted to heal (holistically) then looked up the ingredients to see if they had other names that would be more in keeping with the society.

    I have a weakness for legends. 🙂 That probably should be my brand since every story I’ve written so far comes from a legend or myth somewhere in our history.

  3. Research is a fascinating aspect of our writing, regardless of the genre. I had to research poisons for one story, and also the geography of a certain area. The only problem with research is that I can get carried away and spend too much time on it, to the detriment of the actual writing! LOL

    I keep files with all the pertinent information about characters and research sources, etc., printing the updates out periodically and putting them into the binder I keep for each novel. I dare not rely on my memory when it comes to details.

  4. I keep notes about characters and setting in yWriter5. I’ve also got folders and a bulletinboard filled with pictures of characters and household furnishings, but I prefer having everything on my computer.

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