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  • Writer's pictureCourtney

Research...down the rabbit hole...

Updated: May 6, 2018

Research must be one of the most time consuming parts of writing. When I work on the plot line for a new project, I realize I need to know where the locations will be and what will be happening to the characters.

Deciding on locations must be so much easier in the world of the internet. Google gives street level views of almost anywhere you might want to write about. I will search through a city that I'm using, to find businesses, streets, and areas that will match the location I need for the plot. I use main city names, but I rarely use specifics around companies or streets. I enjoy taking creative license with the details, so they work for my characters.

My favorite research is the survival topics I need for my characters. This is the rabbit hole I often find myself going down. My Pinterest account seems like it has multiple personality disorder with the mix of pins for holidays, zombies, kids, baking and survival. It's amazing to find some of the blogs and companies that provide survival gear. Learning about how preppers and survivalist live is a fascination for me.

Sometimes my research will change the course of action for my characters. I will have a scene or activity in my mind. I will go to research for that set scene. However during the multiple searches, I will find something that grabs my attention. That something could help or hinder my character. But if my research excites me enough, I'll add it in and change things around.

A great example of the would be in SURVIVE. The main character's chosen weapon is a tactical tomahawk. Upon writing Max initially, I didn't immediately see her with the ax. I pictured her with a gun, similar to her sister Alex from my first book. But I knew the sisters were different in their preferences. When searching for hand to hand weapons, tactical tomahawks appeared in my Google search. Thus Max's weapon was chosen. Once I decided on it, the ax seemed to grow on Max, as if it were built for her.

Now I'm off to research for Rafe's story....I'll try not to get lost in the rabbit hole!

always prepared - Courtney

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