Saturday, January 19, 2013

Worse-Case Scenario Research for Writers

I'm not a huge researcher in regards to writing stories.
Since I'm partial to fantasy and realistic fiction, most of my writing comes from my personal experience, so I've never really needed to do much research. However, as I grow as a writer, I'm finding myself looking up more and more details about different actions characters take. I'm finding that these small details placed in the perfect spot of the story are adding another dimension to my writing that I feel greatly improves it.

A few actions that I've looked up:
-Archery
-Sword fighting/fencing
-Weapons

Wow, that list is quite telling to the genre I like to write in, haha. 
I've gleamed these nuggets of knowledge from a few different places (read: thank you Google). However, I have collected a few research books that have helped me in a pinch. Recently, my family gifted me with the ultimate research book for stories -and life, I suppose. 

Behold:


This brings me to the point of this post, a new series that is Splash of Ink. I'll be writing posts inspired by the entries in this book in addition, whenever it tickles my fancy to do so. This is to offer a research element to SOI that has previously been missing. I figured that I'd start today, because after all there is no time like the present!

How to Treat a Leg Fracture:
1. If the skin is broken, do not put anything on it that isn't clean or sterile. Infection must be avoided.
2. Do not move the leg. You need to splint the wound.
3. Use two stiff objects the same size as a splint
4. Put splints above and below the injured area or at the sides if the break makes the leg too painful to move. 
5. Tie the splints down with whatever binding you have (eg. rope, cord, ripped clothing, belts etc.)
6. Do not tie too tightly or the splints will cut of circulation. You should be able to slip one figure between the binding and the leg. If the area becomes white, loosen the binding.
7. Lay the person on their back to promote blood circulation. Do not elevate the leg and do not move the person unless absolutely necessary.
8. Go get medical help, if applicable.

So there you go, the first bit of research that you can apply to almost any genre you may be writing. Something to consider when using these research bits is to purposely make a character mess it up to make the plot more interesting. My mind is already running away with this idea to figure into a story somewhere. 

So, are you a researcher? Do you fill in the details later or pour over the books in the first draft?

What I'm reading: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia 
What I'm listening to: Owl City's album "The Midsummer Station"
What I'm watching: Republic of Doyle (three cheers for half-decent Canadian television!)

P.S. I wrote a post addressing the statement "write what you know" that strongly relates to this post. 
P.P.S. That post was the first ever post on this blog! 


8 comments:

  1. Oh, that's a cool idea! I need to find a book like that! Hopefully, no one will fracture their leg in any of my books, but you never know!

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    1. Thanks! I think my sister just bought that book off Amazon for around ten Canadian dollars, if you're interested in that particular one.

      As for the leg fracture, you never know, haha.

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  2. This sounds like a great new series!
    I actually need to get one of these books since one of my characters just ended up in a pit of quicksand. I don't really know how to get him out, so he's chilling in there right now. Haha.

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    1. HA, that made me laugh! Quicksand is actually one of the first entries in this book! Good luck rescuing him:)

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  3. Oooh, cool! Lack of research is what killed my 2nd novel (which I hope to rewrite) and I'm researching like mad (or will be) for my 3rd one. I don't want to make the same mistake again :D

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    1. Great to see you picking yourself up and learning from your research follies. I think it happens to the best of us at times:) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Ah! Loverly! I needed how to treat a leg fracture for my WIP! Thank you!

    ~Robyn Hoode

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