Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Search for Re: Start Researching Your Nano.

Since next month is Nano Month, it's time to prepare for a brand spanking new this month.  I already have my primary novel idea.  I'd love to do bee-geisha, but that requires way too much research and besides, I started on the first chapter.  Instead, I'm doing a novel that is best summed as The Mist meets Lost meets 1804.  With zombies.  Yup, when two of the influences are Stephen King works, you can guess what sort of novel this will be.  Dark.  Or maybe Semi-Dark.  There is the Lost weirdness and psychology thrown into the mix.  After all, I love how the show delves into the characters' lives, into how the characters work out personal, past, and situational problems on the Island.  My novel has people thrown in a crucible, put over a fire, all to see how they react.

Anyway, I will be doing an idea post later this week, but for those who have theirs already, research is the next step.  A venture that can be as daunting as coming up with a viable novel plan in a single month.  So, the solution?  Start simple.  Ask yourself, what are the main parts of your idea? 

Well, let's see.  My nano concept is thusly:  Several strangers seek refuge from a zombie outbreak in an abandoned mansion, and find the horrors within themselves and these walls are greater than those without.   Psychological dark fantasy.  Obvious research topics?  Well, remember that "meets" summary?  Let's use that for a start-up breakdown.

  • Mist:  What makes mist/fog.  What are its effects on sensory information.  Unusual real mists/fogs.  Pictures of mist/fog for visual stimulation.  Other novels and movies written about mists or fog (purely for research purposes, of course ;-).
  • Lost:  Point of view techniques (since I have a cast of a dozen and maybe a house).  Effects of isolation.  Psychology in general.  Survival techniques.  Small group behavior.
  • 1804:  Haunted houses.  Bizarre and weird places and phenomena.  Poltergeists/ghosts.  Sacrifices (because my house is a weirdo).
And let's not forget:
  • Zombies:  Types--voodoo or Night of the Living Dead.  Related monsters, i.e., ghouls, etc.  Similar novels/movies.
Every week at this month, I'll expand my beginning list, provide cool details of what I found, link to helpful research techniques and material on my subjects, and reveal how it affects the foundation of my novel. 

So, what are we waiting for?  Let's get busy.

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