Research Ideas (5)

1 Name: Adelaide : 2009-09-26 20:38 ID:Ha9aSfaK

I went to reply to the other research thread only to create this monster of a tangent, so I now create this thread.

Have advice about researching? A great way to get it done? A question about it? Then slap it on here.


What I liked to do when I was still in university was to go to classes that weren't mine.

Stick with me.

Basically I'd be choosing my courses for the next semester and I'd see some that were really interesting, but I didn't have the prerequisites (damn you, witchcraft and magic!). So, a couple of times I went to the first class and picked up the syllabus if it wasn't online - that way I knew what each class would entail and I could avoid the test dates, et cetera. And then I'd pop in when I felt like it.

It really is perfect: you get the education for free AND there's no homework or exams! And I retained a lot more in those classes :P


And if you're a hippy like me, you'll use actually select courses that go towards your degree with story research in mind. It sounds worse than it really is - I majored in history so I had mostly electives, and I met the requirements of the degree, so no harm. I have also never been that concerned with what's practical when it comes to schooling and careers though. I think that means I'll be a bum, but I'll be a smart, happy bum that doesn't have to climb a corporate ladder. And I think I'm okay with that.


Also, if you're in post secondary education, take advantage of any of those expensive online journals that universities sometimes buy subscriptions to for their students. The stuff is so specific and covers topics you don't normally see. BUT, the information can be applied to other things.


I also try to rack up participatory research, i.e.: experience :P I don't necessarily do it with writing in mind though - it's just how I roll. With absolutely NO tone of bragging intended, I've done some pretty cool things. I've organised a fashion show within 5 months of learning how to sew (high school), climbed a 3500 foot mountain in Glen Coe, and been part of a shadow cast for a movie that I helped promote and inadvertently saved a 100 year old repertoire theatre in the process.

But everyone's life is or can be just as full of cool experiences (they're easy to identify by the signature lack of awesomeness while they're happening :P). I'm sure almost anyone else could sit down and list the incredible things they've accomplished. Just hold on to the memories of them. And it doesn't need to seem big and epic like following a crazy person up a rock face - it's only big and epic when you condense it into a story. At the time, it's real life and it blows.


Work can be a good way to research - and I don't just mean learning how to make an accurate cop, firefighter, secretary, for a book. I work for a transcription company that sometimes hires me out to take notes for disabled university students, so I've taken university courses through that in addition to my own schooling. I also transcribe audio on all sorts of things, like various university research interviews and group discussions about future plans for green energy.

AND I work at a library so I'm constantly surrounded by books on every subject. Many of them follow me home. Not only does the job pay well, but I'm also encouraged to look through books so I know what to suggest to patrons. AND I don't pay any overdue fees.


You should also be aware that you may be able to order books and movies at your local library - many patrons don't know this. Ask to find out for sure because I don't know how standard it is, but it can save you money if you're able. I wouldn't expect the item within a week or anything so keep that in mind, but in the right circumstances it works perfectly. Just remember to renew!

2 Name: Anonymous : 2009-09-26 20:52 ID:TPejbbJS

In case, people don't know what Adelaide is talking about, here is the link to the relevant thread:

3 Name: F2008&??where'sK18? : 2009-09-27 00:21 ID:V+ZB56EI

wow, didn't know that...the library part about taking books with you. i wonder if i can get away with going to classes but not have to pay or what not for it...shrug

4 Name: Adelaide : 2009-09-27 18:46 ID:Ha9aSfaK

Well, when I was in university, I checked my library system to see if they happened to have some of the textbooks I needed. A couple of times they did and I saved a couple hundred on books. Just remember to RENEW them - I racked up $18 (ten cents/day) one time and $16 another. And beware that if someone puts a hold on the book you have out, you have to take it back on the due date - you can't renew a book when someone else has put a hold on it.

A further note on fines: your library system may have a contract with a collection agency, like mine. Fines totaling over $40 (in mine) are sent to the collection agency for them to deal with. Your credit is affected if you don't pay in a timely manner.

Still way cheaper than buying the books though :P


Also, I just found this absolutely awesome web page for anyone writing fantasy:

It deals with Medieval demographics in a clear way. It explains how a fantasy writer can create an accurate world based on actual historical demographics.

E.g.: the writer explains that 180 people can subsist on one square mile of farmland. And that's taking into account droughts, theft, etc.

5 Name: inulover90 : 2009-10-06 09:43 ID:kkxlLrTn

there are a few sites i used to help with weapons and names and and all the stuff that my mind blanks on. i use these sites for a research and help with some names along with my, all the other sites (don't have on hand at the moment) and my knowledge and imagination.

this one has names for people (fantasy and real world), places, Things, Stories,travesties, and links to a hole bunch of really good sites.

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