how much or research do you do before you write a story? (170)

1 Name: SeraEris : 2009-09-26 02:17 ID:IxmOR8it

for my latest story i have been searching a lot.

because of some STDs my character got after she was raped, and also pregnacy, and premature birth and caesarian, etc

i read a lot about all that stuff i mean i dont like to threw stuff like that to the readers without having a clue

for my first story i wanted to include a real living person [Antonio Stradivari that is]
so the story's time line went back the the beginnings of 1900s when Stradivari lived his life.
i did a research about stuff like clothes etc. of that period.

in my opinion it is really important to know what to write about.

especially when it comes to surgeries of hospital's in general.

the latest research i did actually gave me a hint and i added another aspect in my character's torture.

she got caesarian and them i had her bleeding so they performed a hysterectomy afterwords.

i would never know how to write about things such as pregnancy complications and premature child birth if i hadnt read about it ;)

SO what about you, do you do your little research, before you write down your stories??

121 Name: Shikara : 2010-11-26 16:57 ID:WdE7lNWr

You should do research for every story you write I say, if said story is going to be deeper than crack and longer than a drabble. No matter what kind of world it's based in there has to be certain rules and limits to what can be included in the story according to the canon world/universe, and they must be known inside out; otherwise someone who does know them is going to point out the inaccuracies and holes in the story . And that's going to make the story flawed, even if it does have a nice plot.

122 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-11-26 19:48 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>121 - I think people have done research for every story they've done, if it is good, they just don't realize it. :)

123 Name: DancingismyLIFE : 2010-11-27 08:27 ID:wRiCJby0

For my story Im working on now. I done no reach. Cause its base on my life.

124 Name: DancingismyLIFE : 2010-11-27 08:28 ID:wRiCJby0

For my story Im working on now. I done no reach. Cause its base on my life.

125 Name: CastielGirl 93 : 2010-11-27 10:32 ID:oadG1Nhz

I totally agree that you can never have to much research my problem is that sometimes there is very little infomation about things for example I am wrtiting a story set back in 2000bc and there is very little information about the era (culture wise there is some information but that is more to do with reglions and mythologies cause they totally believed in vampires to the point where they put iron shavings under their beds and statues of their Gods/Godesses on the windows) but when it comes to clothes and foods and stuff like that infomation is kinda limited. So yeah research is great but it depends on if the information is avalible.

126 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-11-27 17:22 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>125 - Definatly true. :)

127 Name: KazeYami : 2010-12-01 08:45 ID:QlaHw6+3

I very rarely do research on my fics. Especially if I'm doing a story on a fandom I've seen the whole way through, I feel like I know everything I need. Because I rarely write historic time periods or about strange medical conditions, there is little to no call for research.

However, I will admit that really big fandoms (such as Harry Potter), which have a huge pre-established universe, I do. I usually use Wikis to find background information (like spells or names of small supporting characters) to make the story sound more realistic to the original work.

And, while we're on the subject, can we talk about people who do a bunch of research (which is to be commended, definitely) and then talks way over the head of the reader. The point of researching this rare medical disease is so that you can use that knowledge to better describe the condition. Not to just use lots of medical language, so that I have no idea what happened. For example, let's say SeraEris is writing her very scary and depressing story about a horrible pregnancy gone wrong and when she gets to the part where the chick is bleeding to death out of her baby maker, just says, "She was bleeding horrendously, so they had to perform a hysterectomy." I would be sitting there, thinking to myself, 'WTF?! They took away her ovaries! Why?!' I don't know if anyone has seen a fic where the author uses the powers of research for evil, but it is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed!

128 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-01 11:14 ID:Q5mmlypI

One thing that I have been doing recently is researching how objects behave in zero gravity. After watching Inception and clips of astronauts, I wanted to accurately portray my characters launching themselves off surfaces in a zero-g environment, as well as use vectored thrust. As I use a sci-fi fandom, this is very important.

I may have mentioned this already (don't know, it's been a while since I posted on this thread), but every star that I mention in my continuity is a real place with real designations. I tend to do this so that it seems more grounded in scientific realism.

Heh, don't know if scientific realism is something you guys look into though, and since my work takes place hundreds of years following events, wars and people are mostly forgotten and have to be referenced through historical accounts.

129 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-01 11:17 ID:Q5mmlypI


I know, I do research for things such as mechanical equipment or specific language to use. I guess the point of such terms is to make the work sound more credible. I work in sci-fi; jargon is a requirement! :D

130 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-01 16:14 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>127 - I get what you're saying. I have never liked people who happen to do the research to sound smart rather then adding to the fanfic. They're just as bad as people who don't research those things at all, sometimes even worse when they get things wront.

>>128 & >>129 - I do research into science when necisary. I refuse to pull a Meyer, where she happened to say that vampires and humans can breed despite having different numbers of chromonsones. Basic science that is being taught in schools now adays! I learned that in Biology!

131 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-01 17:41 ID:Q5mmlypI

>>130 Who is this Meyer you speak of?

I don't know. Biologically they can't be human since they have different numbers of could you breed...?

shakes head Blagh! I don't like thinking about that stuff!

132 Name: KazeYami : 2010-12-01 18:02 ID:4emlzkfw

>> 130 & >>131 : I don't know. That always confused me. So, vampires somehow loose/gain chromosones when they ... die? Become undead? Gets the sparklies? How does that work?

Can't we just keep the occult in the realm of magic and science int he realm of reality. ;o; It's so much simpler that way.

(also, I'm totally not off topic at all)

133 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-01 19:38 ID:Q5mmlypI

But it's just so hard! You start to reason and try to find a rational explanation for everything and then it just falls apart!

134 Name: Gin : 2010-12-02 04:18 ID:jc/yPOIT

>>132 - Occult means "hidden". The hidden forces/powers of nature. So I'll 'see' your science and give you magnetism, atoms (and their sub-levels), gravity... all things of science, all things which are "occult". Magnetism and gravity in particular -- have you ever actually seen a magnetic field or a gravitational pull? You'll just be seeing the effects of them, but that doesn't mean that the forces aren't there.

Also, separating magic from science when science developed out of the tradition of natural magic... eh, good luck with that?

135 Name: KazeYami : 2010-12-02 09:56 ID:QlaHw6+3

>>134 I have no idea how magnets (How do they work?!) are supposed to convince me that it's okay to apply genetics to vampires, but that is some kind of magic in itself.

Just because I can't see vampires being science, they are science? Dood, that's gay. Just because I don't see my grandma shower means it doesn't happen?! Or, it does? Wait ...

Anyway, see how confusing that was?! If you wrote a story that used that logic, I would be all like, "Failmuffins. Things don't happen just because they do or do not happen. Or, maybe they do. I don't care, but that was a total cop out."

Cop out logic is not cool, man. Not cool... ;o;

136 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-12-02 10:12 ID:38WhWzd+

>>135 That's not what Gin said at all! But I have to agree that vampires and science are not meant to be combined. Vampires are magical (or occult, whatever) creatures, and in my opinion the very definition of magic is breaking the laws of science.

137 Name: Gin : 2010-12-02 11:11 ID:v4wAXi/A

>>135 - So a subject I've been studying at university is "cop-out logic"? Eh, okay then. I'd rather not argue when it doesn't seem like you've actually read my comments. All I was addressing was this line:

"Can't we just keep the occult in the realm of magic and science int he realm of reality."

>>136 - Call them supernatural, paranormal, whatever. I don't think they can ba classified as "magical", but personal opinion.

And it all depends on what you count as magic. I'll freely admit that I've got a lot of sixteenth-century influence on my mindset when it comes to magic and science, since I've been studying the Scientific Revolution - which came out of a gradual marriage of natural philosophy with magic and alchemy, and the messy fallout as cerain people decided They Could Do Things Better...

138 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-02 12:43 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>132 - That was almost a good arguement, except for the fact that sci-fi and fantasy can cross genera. You can have both science and magic in the same storyline. Meyer was the one who tried bringing science into her Twilight series in the first place, so it makes sense to call her out for her blunder. Particularly since she butchered the other side too, and not just with vampires and werewolves, but Native American legends. Oh, and Forks. She had no clue what Forks was like.

>>134 - Occult means hidden? Last time I checked, that wasn't the definition. It basically means the supernatural. Supernatural simply is the opposite of science, that which can not naturally be explained. I don't see how you can seperate the two. It could have been better written.

>>135 & >>137 - I think the big thing to remember is that Meyer is the one who brought science into her books in the first place, when she didn't even need to, simply because she wanted her world to be even more 'special'. There is nothing wrong with blending the too, but that is just... lame.

Back on my comment in >>130, the whole point of that was that Meyer doesn't do her research and there have been so many mistakes. I mean, she didn't even bother to research to find out that London didn't have sewers at a certain time in history, and yet she writes it as if does.

139 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-02 13:14 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>70 - I still give feedback when someone posts something like "no negative feedback" or "not looking for critiques". Actually, mostly it is the first one. - First off, they've posted to the internet. People are allowed by freedom of speech to tell people that something is wrong and that this is not a game, particularly since the internet is real life.

  • Second, some of these fanfics that ask for "no negative reviews" do it because they only want to be praised and recieve pats on the back being told how good they are. They use such warnings as an excuse to do whatever they want.
  • Third, I believe in being up front and truthful with people.
  • Forth, there are some things not meant to be shared.

That being said, I do know of some fanfics that say that their fanfics are just for fun, they know it is bad. They shrug off negative reviews, but are still thankful for them, in case they do want to come back and inmproce.

>>71 - I've have mostly gotten that response from newbie writers. A few that get upset, I kindly explain to them it is best to bite their bad writing habits in the bud when the first start out, and they get that. It's mostly old timers who should already know better and newbie writers who've formed cliques of sorts. I had to stay away from Shugo Chara for two years because of the level of the clique. It wasn't simply people who knew each other, it was a major networking problem and their favorite author's list was a friend list. Ones Favorite Author's is NOT a friend list!

Also, you're right about not worring about hurting people's feelings by telling them the truth. I don't know how many people I've given a lecture on the difference between flaming and critiqing on. I'll even admit I've accidently flamed people a few times. The one time I know for sure was when I kept cutting it down and simplifying it for some odd reason, and I profusely appologized to the author and we had a very nice conversation after that.

When I find people writing stuff they shouldn't, I am rather upfront about it. I am not talking about slash and voicing an opinion that people shouldn't write slash, but that if you are a fan of something you are supposed to treat it with respect, particulary since they are nice enough to let us write in these worlds they've created. One way of putting it is, "if the author were to read this, would they be flattered, or insulted?" And I am not talking paranoid insulted here. The other is, "Would you want people doing this to something you published?" If the awnser is "yes, they would be insulted" and "no", then think twice about doing it and understand that people will speak out.

140 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-02 16:51 ID:evIG+WfG

>>138 Oh, That Meyer...I really didn't read Twilight at all, I guess being a guy doesn't help matters.

141 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-02 18:39 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>140 - Yeah, that Meyer. I know one guy who read the books because he is a vampire fan and he was not pleased. Most guys tend to stay away from it. I almost read it, but then ran into the rabids...

142 Name: SoundzofSilence : 2010-12-03 01:34 ID:CHr4KMDk

All I have to say is that research is a really, really good idea before you write something. It helps prevent characters from acting out of character, it keeps you current on that world and how it operates, and readers who are more knowledgeable about that genre won't get pissed off because they can immediately spot that you're BSing.

My only warning about research is don't get bogged down in it. Sometimes--especially with Wikipedia--you get distracted by the different links and want to learn more, but you end up learning too much or your curiosity leads you places you never intended to go. Then you get distracted and/or discouraged.

143 Name: jyuuken114 : 2010-12-03 06:21 ID:6Ie4Ss2C

In fanfics, I can't say I hate incest. At the same time I don't hate it either. It depends on the type of pairing (I generally avoid slash), the characters of the pairing and the quality of the work (then again, we search for quality in any category don't we?)

In Naruto i cannot see, how incest is canonwise possible. Even in AU fics I am not much a fan of NejixHinata (they are first cousins) or any other incest pairing for that matter, and haven't read any fic on it. I simply can't see Neji and Hinata with all the NarutoxHinata and NejixTenten hints in canon. However i may put up to it if the work is of good quality. For example, Long Live the Queen (by: tsubaki-hana, is a MikotoxItachi oneshot. It is a beautiful piece of work, which is why i read it, even though it is a mother-son incest.
I know, i kno, don't start calling me sick or crazy. I read it because it was good. I assure you.

144 Name: jyuuken114 : 2010-12-03 07:07 ID:zHQDGQ+Q

OMG someone kill me. I am very sorry. the above post were meant for the thread:How do you feel about incest?

I am very sorry.

145 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-04 02:04 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>142 - So true.

146 Name: tearthepetals : 2010-12-04 13:36 ID:0+BZm5UD

I've just found a folder full of research about the British Empire and the Regency era on my hard drive. The only problem is, I can't remember what the original fic idea that went with it was. All I know is, I wanted to know how much power the English government had over the colonies, in legal matters.

So now my research has lead me to two new fic ideas, which is nice.

147 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2010-12-04 14:17 ID:6nThuHeJ

>>146 - That is I think, something that ends up coming from doing research. I went to find out one thing about the Japanese culture to put into my fanfics, but then I got a lot.

148 Name: Gin : 2010-12-18 16:50 ID:MBgu4iW6

I'm inserting a small section into a scene where a scientifically minded character is trying to explain something to the group of people he's with about how somebody falling from a building would just create a splatter on the ground (in canon, the impact created a small crater around her). This will only take about 100-150 words of the entire chapter (about 6,500 words), yet I've just spent almost an hour discussing it with two of my friends - one of whom is a science student, the other a fellow writer - so it can be as accurate as possible. I had the general gist, but research and discussion has helped to really get this segment taking form.

I do love this whole research game! It's so satisfying when you get things right. ^^

149 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-18 21:41 ID:Q5mmlypI

Would that actually happen? I've heard from some sources that the human body can remian intact after falling from great heights, although on an episode of Bones, I saw a guy who was tossed off a plane totally faceplanting it into chunky salsa.

150 Name: Gin : 2010-12-19 06:24 ID:MBgu4iW6

He's inserting a bit of exaggeration into his rant, I must admit -- but in canon this fall left an impact crater at least a foot deep, so he still has a point. (Ignoring all the supernatural shenanigans that surrounded this event, too.) It probably depends on the way you land, I think (though I have no way of verifying this) but the event itself happened a year ago and there was no witness, no investigation... The only source they're going by is the dead woman herself. If that makes any sense.

The thing we were really trying to get accurate was all the calculations. The actual impact is far more suspect, especially when supernatural forces come to play.

151 Name: Chris000 : 2010-12-19 09:37 ID:9fd8tL7e

Hmm, I guess that makes logical sense, and I'm all about logic.

Are you trying to insert a mystery edge in this case, since they have no way to tell what happened besides a foot-deep impact crater and one intact corpse?

152 Name: Gabi1999 : 2010-12-21 11:01 ID:NxCnOKKz

I spent days researching the political atmosphere, religions, and lifestyles of Scotland, and the French and British colonies in north america. As well as the native Americans in the area, languages, life styles. Then I looked into era type dress weaponry for all as well as the cultural prejudices of the time...lets just say between in depth disucssions with a few history buffs and teachers and copious time sifting through garbage on google. I'm just about ready to begin writing the first chapter of a historical the end I'm going to have to twist a few timelines to get the right people from the correct eras to meet but after all that time I spent with research anyone who points that out may die a slow and painful death. however I kinda worry that anyone who hasn't done the research I have won't understand what the heck is going on with my story. so I'm thinking about inserting an explanatory note at the bottom of the first chapter. people can read it if they want to.... it's about a page long... fail.

153 Name: NamineInWonderland : 2010-12-21 12:41 ID:s6B99fSG

Well, generally I do a bit of research depending on the vision I have for a story. A while back I started a story called That's What You Get, and it was a story about a girl with creative control over the design of the shotgun house that played as her college dorm, so I did a lot of research on paints and furniture and lamps and TV's, entertainment centers, beds, etc. while also keeping in track with what my characters were like and stuff like that. I stuck to the layout of my house at the time, so the house design was fairly easy, and I didn't have to make it up myself. Honestly, i think that's the story I've researched most on, and reading it again, I didn't do half the things I wanted to for it... I think I may rewrite it, considering I only got to four chapters of it. :/

154 Name: Renica : 2011-02-15 10:00 ID:wE/mPLoe

It depends on what I'm writing. I make it a rule to not write fanfiction for any book/game/manga/etc. that I am not familiar with, and try to keep it in the realm of the most accepted canon (I.E., books instead of the movies based on them, manga instead of anime) in order to keep with the original creator's version.

Aside from that, I try to research whenever I deal with a subject I'm not very familiar with.

155 Name: Lady1Venus : 2011-03-12 12:24 ID:DSRhYi7x

It all depends on my writing. But I will do research if I need to. Most times I search when the time calls for it. This way here I don't have to search too much in case it doesn't happen

156 Name: DBI7853 : 2011-03-12 12:57 ID:yuEK/kws

I research almost everything, even the story. I hate making false information unless it can be for my own benefit and imagination. It's good to have research to fall on when you're stumped.

157 Name: Tail Kinker◆G7bnjqxQ1g : 2011-03-13 18:28 ID:kMw9ta96

It will depend on the story. I spent twelve hours of research on Doctor vs. Doctor, because of the combination of diseases. I spent maybe twenty seconds of research on Genesis, because it was a joke fic. Both are about the same length of story.

158 Name: AkitaFallow : 2011-03-13 20:22 ID:7I+CY5He

Recently, I've found myself doing so much research for my stories that my brain is telling me to reference them. In Chicago style footnotes.

Thankfully, I have refrained.

I feel that, if research is required to give you a solid framework for your story, DO IT. I wish I'd done some more research before starting my most popular fics; it would have spared me a number of embarrassing observations made by my readers and the subsequent chapter overhauls I had to do. Especially in regards to police protocol and such.

I also like to make sure facts and numbers (and dates! Especially dates!) line up. Nothing that does not yet exist should pop up; nothing that is no longer in use should still be around. Any timelines should be correct. A story based in a real place should use real names and events (and book titles. That's something I've been doing.) in the story.

On the subject of correct timelines, I went so far as to calculate exactly how far into the past a Harry Potter character would be sent if they used thirteen time turners simultaneously. Each device could go back 3 hours, and using more than one caused the time limit to increase exactly exponentially. I even calculated leap years and such to find an exact date and time. The math almost made my brain explode.

Accuracy is good.

159 Name: Who Says? : 2011-03-13 20:36 ID:Ek6dyEzW

I research only if I need to. I generally stick to more fantasy based stories. Since they don't need as much focus since everyone has different views on what a supernatural/fantasy creature can do. Though I will research if I'm not certain about the creature. For example if I was writing about Vampires, I wouldn't need to research because they are so common. If I was writing about a Necromancer or something along the lines, I'd do reasearch about what Necromancer actually do.

Right now I am writing a story (not really fanfic based stuff) but it's about Angels and Demons fighting. One character in it is Lucifer, the Fallen Angel or Demon. I have very limited knowledge about that sort of thing, so I went and spent a great ammount of type figuring out the exact details. Before adding it into my story.

Research is always a good thing, if only I could put the same effort into school work. xD

160 Name: Anonymous : 2011-03-18 17:56 ID:c11DS0bU

I’ve got to do some uncomfortable research on STDs for something I’m writing at the moment. I’ve been putting it off, hoping I could get away without it, but I can’t. So, yeah, thanks god for private browsing.

161 Name: Noc and NC : 2011-03-19 10:40 ID:sQPudHUx

I just research when necessary. For example, if I'm planning on writing a story that involves dukes and earls and that sort of aristocracy, I'd need to research the ways of that social class during a specific time period in order to keep things accurate. There are a lot of things that could go wrong if I just made things up, i.e. pissing off the readers.

162 Name: Neil Dunsmore : 2011-04-21 17:29 ID:nR0YcI3t

For most fanfics, it's just a matter of watching the show/reading the comics a lot before writing the fic, but if it's something like Pokemon, I always bring up an online Pokedex just so I know what I'm writing about when it comes to specific Pokemon. (And let me tell you, I look back and forth between the site and the word file constantly)

163 Name: Naomi Hansen : 2011-05-28 14:02 ID:XLxQ/hKT

If you're planning to write a serious and/or historically-accurate fic for Hetalia: Axis Powers, oh yeah, you need to do a lot of backbreaking research.

Research is basically a habit of mine even in my leisure time, but especially when I'm writing a story. Not sure why, but I have that habit, and I see it as a good thing.

164 Name: TomboyCountrygirl10 : 2011-06-02 14:35 ID:01kfDEgb

I think it depends on what type of story you are doing. If a time piece, like Victorian Era, it's important to know what was the style of dress back then, how they talked, what was popular, etc. I'm doing a twist on Beauty and the Beast with Pokemon characters, so I need to keep the personalities of the characters but also keep it appropriate to the time. You might also be able to find something interesting in your search and possibly use it for your story...hope I helped.

165 Name: agoodcupoftea : 2011-06-10 19:21 ID:oCNDEsZD

I stick to the write what you know trope. As far as fanfic, I was keeping true to the fandom, (Digimon/X-over with a few other animes) and first moved them to Kohbe. I lived in pre-earthquake Kohbe, but of course, I was small at the time, and remember very little. I also did research because the only way to get my stuff looked at, I felt, was add-smut. So, I had to find out how to write that.

But doing research nor add-smut fit my style, so in the end, I moved them to another city I used to live in until late 09, parts of which are what they call a "self-cleaning oven", and used the horrific crime rate as "the gates of hell have opened here, so it is your mission to save this city."

For non-fantastic parts of the plot/back-story of characters, as for fanfiction, I tend to take parts of my life and lives of those around me, and warp them to best meld with the character(s) of my choice.

However, I am also writing an original novel, in my general locale, but takes place when I was four (and wasn't here), so I'm doing some light research.

I am basically the living trope of "Write What You Know."

166 Name: Zenna : 2011-06-26 16:05 ID:y9Y/uUI4

Before? Not so much...
And then I get into the story and realize, "Holy crap! I want detail for this, dangit!" And before I know it, I've got a truckload of useless information- and a well-developed world.

167 Name: Regas : 2011-06-26 16:57 ID:0YATYCan

I guess it depends on the story

168 Name: RebeccaKeys : 2011-07-06 20:27 ID:YrJiQoHk

Yes! I'm a perfectionist, so I research the hell out of everything. Especially canon. For me, nothing is more embarrassing than the prospect that I will have some situation in my story that completely contradicts some detail from canon, even if it's pretty minor. Probably I mind it so much because it really bugs me when I'm reading a story and spot such a blatant canon contradiction-- at least if it goes unexplained. Obviously, alternate universe stories are allowed a lot more head way on that front.

When I'm reading a HP story and all of a sudden Snape is mentioned as having a raven for a Patronus, I'll get pretty upset if the story was A) written after the seventh book, and B) the change in patronus goes unexplained. Because that's a pretty important detail in the seventh book, that Snape's patronus is a doe. You know? It's details like that, kept and checked, that really make a story sometimes.

Right now I have a story that's sort of on the back burner, about Zack and Cody; they will eventually get trapped on an island near New Zealand. Now, I researched the hell out of the backstory for this piece. It couldn't be some made island. It had to be a real island. So I went and researched all the small, nearby, usually uninhabitable islands around, just so that I could have real names and places (and even bird species) to use in the fic.

I don't think that level of detail is always necessary with those kinds of stories. But I do think that it can make a story that much better, if the effort is made.

169 Name: Gameboyguy : 2011-07-07 20:37 ID:/n2sPHey

Yeah, I research a lot before I even start a story. It helps to know more about what you're writing about.

170 Name: OrochiG : 2011-07-19 16:03 ID:Haz++0t+

It all depends on these things-

  1. How much do you read the series your fic is based on?
  2. How realistic do you want it to be?
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