"When we read, we start at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out."
Researching my stories
I do a good deal of research while Iím generating the bookís outline, before I ever start writing. Not as much as a historical fiction writer has to, of course. I do believe itís essential when writing fantasy to ground the world in as much reality as possible or the reader wonít accept the fantastical bits. I always learn more than I can possibly make work in the story, and sometimes the hardest parts to cut are the information chunks that come from research.
Besides my pre-writing research, I often have to do on-the-spot research to make sure Iím portraying something accurately (such as, what did people in certain regions and eras use to stuff mattresses? What does a tallow candle smell like? Where would a sling stone have to hit a man to kill him?). This is why itís so handy to have the internet. I do most research on the web, but the library is also a major resource, for both non-fiction books and videos.
Here are some of the major subjects I researched for my books:
the goose girl
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