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Thread: Obsessed with research

  1. #1
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    Red face Obsessed with research

    So, in my current WIP, my MMC is Irish. (Cillian Murphy is my representation for my character, hence my avatar.) In my research, I looked up a lot of interviews with him and movies that he speaks in his real voice. NOW I AM OBSESSED WITH HIM AND IRISH ACCENTS. I keep speaking in it! My husband is so annoyed. LOL I speak in it to make sure it makes sense for my character to say it and that it sounds right. At least that is my excuse...

    So, does anyone else go through this?
    I feel like this happens to me with every novel I write. There's always something I get obsessed with (*cough* usually the MMC).

  2. #2
    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    I think I'm just obsessed with research in general. I will absolutely spend a half hour looking up the correct terminology for an elevator that is visible on the outside of a building just because a character is walking by a building that has that style of elevator and never thinks of it again. And then I'll watch the elevator scene in 'Silence of the Lambs' because, during my research, I found a link to it.

    I was a much more effective writer before the internet.

  3. #3
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    On the up side, I am learning Irish slang. I'm sure that will be very useful in Michigan.

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    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    Ha! In my WIP, I originally had a Creole character and an Irish character, and I got so frustrated writing the Creole character that I completely scrapped the Irish character. Now it's just a character with an excessively Irish name for no stated reason.

  5. #5
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    As long as you didn't try to write their accents phonetically, why was it frustrating? All the research?

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    Lolling about on Gin Lane... schizoidwoman's Avatar
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    I'm obsessive about research too; 18th century history has been my hobby as long as I've been writing (possibly longer), so I take every opportunity to turn to my books and papers!

  7. #7
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schizoidwoman View Post
    I'm obsessive about research too; 18th century history has been my hobby as long as I've been writing (possibly longer), so I take every opportunity to turn to my books and papers!
    Convenient!

  8. #8
    Lolling about on Gin Lane... schizoidwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccarver30 View Post
    Convenient!

    Bit too convenient at times; I end up researching at the expense of writing!

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW StevenHarvey1990's Avatar
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    It's a shame I'm from Northern Ireland as I could of given ya a hand with some things but the truth is... the difference in colloquialisms are quite drastic between North and South.

    I too am addicted to research. I remember spending ages looking for the 'real' name for the 'dog collars' priests wear. Spend more time doing that than writing haha.

    A suggestion I do have...

    Record yourself reading the dialogue aloud (accents included) and you'll realise what doesn't sound right upon playback. I've started doing this recently and it's helped. Although my problem is/has always been the flow of dialogue and how natural it sounds. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by StevenHarvey1990; 01-30-2013 at 01:23 AM. Reason: sp
    "Movies don't create psycho's, movies make psycho's more creative"

  10. #10
    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccarver30 View Post
    As long as you didn't try to write their accents phonetically, why was it frustrating? All the research?
    I think if I'd started with the Irish character, I wouldn't have had a problem (well, with the Irish anyway). Creole was a total nightmare, I think just because the range was so great; it was anywhere between the occasional etouffee reference, Southern West Virginia, and straight up French. It was also more challenging for me to research than I'd expected. At the end of the day, I decided it was easier to write a character that speaks a separate language entirely, rather than one that speaks English in a vernacular I don't already know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenHarvey1990 View Post

    Record yourself reading the dialogue aloud (accents included) and you'll realise what doesn't sound right upon playback. I've started doing this recently and it's helped. Although my problem is/has always been the flow of dialogue and how natural it sounds. Hope that helps.
    That's a really good idea! I sort of "hear" them when I read their words on the screen or paper, but actually acting out the parts? Yes, that would really work well and probably help with gestures and expressions, too.

  12. #12
    Lolling about on Gin Lane... schizoidwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Mehl View Post
    That's a really good idea! I sort of "hear" them when I read their words on the screen or paper, but actually acting out the parts? Yes, that would really work well and probably help with gestures and expressions, too.

    Acting out the parts works really well for me but I'd never thought of recording it and listening back, such a good idea!

  13. #13
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    I'm certainly way too fond of research and all the interesting side trails and discoveries that come with it. Sometimes its a terrible distraction, sometimes it's the gruesome discovery that a great scheme just wouldn't work, and sometimes it leads to nifty shifts in plots. Now if I could just find an expert on piloting a Gulfstream 450....

  14. #14
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    This doesn't sound like a research obsession. It sounds like a character or actor infatuation. I think you're in love with the idea of your character and he actor who you've chosen to visually represent him. Hence, all the research you're doing on the character and the manifested infatuation. You came for the research but stayed for Cillian. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I mean, have you SEEN Cillian Murphy? Good lord. He even looks good in drag.


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    I only do research while I am writing a scene and I don't know something, like I have a character going to a different country all of a sudden to escape a certain situation he or she's in, and I spend hours researching about that country: what the houses are like, what language they speak, what their main dishes are, what music they listen to, how they dress, what their school system is like, their police, their judicial system, and I'm taking notes and the next thing I know I haven't written any scenes in my WIP. *facepalm*

  16. #16
    Derailed WriteMinded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielaTorre View Post
    I mean, have you SEEN Cillian Murphy? Good lord. He even looks good in drag.
    I'll bet he does. Got pics you'd like to share?
    Last edited by WriteMinded; 01-30-2013 at 07:56 PM.

  17. #17
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WriteMinded View Post
    I'll be he does. Got pics you'd like to share?
    BOOM!



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  18. #18
    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
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    This makes me laugh. My husband would be annoyed if I walked around talking in an Irish accent too!

    I had to do a lot of research on seahorses for my first novel. I had worked at a pet store which sold fish for years and I have had my own aquariums, but I still had to do loads of research to make sure I had my facts correct. A subplot of my novel (romance was the main plot) revolved around the breeding of seahorses.

    I became pretty obsessed with it as well. I talked about seahorses all the time. Bought a seahorse shirt. Bought a seahorse print for my baby girl's nursery, etc.

    So yeah, I get the research obsession!
    NA contemporary romance coming June 2014 from William Morrow/Harper Collins

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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW MakanJuu's Avatar
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    I've never gone that far with research, no. I usually go for small things that I think ought to be relevant, even if they aren't for my story, and usually end it as soon as I get a decently satisfying answer. For instance, my first chapter of my WIP had an archaeological dig in the jungle, so I literally looked up about how deep it should be for roughly 1500 years of disuse in that type of environment and stopped when I found an article desribing a 1400 year old jungle dig being about 6 ft underground.

    If it's terminology, though, I figure it's less confusing for the majority of people to just describe it if the correct term isn't widely known.

    However, I do know how you feel, I have OCD & when something catches my interest, I'll spend months of contant research, looking up everything I possibly can on the subject until I get burnt out. It does add to my random esoteric knowledge, and, therefore, my creativity, though.
    Current WIPs:
    Spirits- Scifi/ Urban Fantasy/ Character Drama (23000 wds)
    What Lies Within the Mahounin- Classic Fantasy/ horror/ Character Drama (n/a)

    Backburners:
    Paranorm- Horror/ Character Drama
    Buried Below- Treasure Hunter Homage
    Spirits Sequels & Prequel(s)

  20. #20
    New kid...seven years ago! DancingMaenid's Avatar
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    I enjoy research a lot. While I don't think I've become obsessed with it, exactly, I do tend to research more than I strictly need to, and a lot of times something I start researching for a story will turn into an interest in its own right. It's proven to be a good way of learning about topics that I wouldn't have explored much otherwise.

  21. #21
    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
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    Oh, and my WIP now is about a girl with ADHD and dyslexia, so I'm googling disability sites like crazy.

    Personally, I like the research. It's fun and I like having my novel sort of underhandedly "teach" something. I'm a dork.
    NA contemporary romance coming June 2014 from William Morrow/Harper Collins

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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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    I wish. I don't really like research
    If I have an idea that requires much research, I'm reluctant to write it.

  23. #23
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielaTorre View Post
    This doesn't sound like a research obsession. It sounds like a character or actor infatuation. I think you're in love with the idea of your character and he actor who you've chosen to visually represent him. Hence, all the research you're doing on the character and the manifested infatuation. You came for the research but stayed for Cillian. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I mean, have you SEEN Cillian Murphy? Good lord. He even looks good in drag.
    Totally. That's what I was trying to convey. Ha ha I don't know about the curly reddish wig... :-p I wish he were more than 5' 9" and 165lbs though. Well, my character is 6' 1" and 195lbs...

  24. #24
    I'm back! ccarver30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenHarvey1990 View Post
    It's a shame I'm from Northern Ireland as I could of given ya a hand with some things but the truth is... the difference in colloquialisms are quite drastic between North and South.

    I too am addicted to research. I remember spending ages looking for the 'real' name for the 'dog collars' priests wear. Spend more time doing that than writing haha.

    A suggestion I do have...

    Record yourself reading the dialogue aloud (accents included) and you'll realise what doesn't sound right upon playback. I've started doing this recently and it's helped. Although my problem is/has always been the flow of dialogue and how natural it sounds. Hope that helps.
    My character is a "Crosser".

    I have a long commute to work so I talk to myself all the time in his voice. Perhaps a real recording will help. I am sure it will be interesting if nothing else!

  25. #25
    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
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    I don't think there is anything wrong with being "obsessed" with your character. That means that character is real to you, and hopefully that is conveyed i your writing and passed onto the reader.
    NA contemporary romance coming June 2014 from William Morrow/Harper Collins

    Website/blog: meganerickson.org

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