research

Research.

What can I say about it that hasn’t been said by a thousand writers before me, all of them more knowledgeable and experienced? One thing I can say is that I always, ALWAYS underestimate it. After all, it’s fiction, isn’t it? I can just do what I want. … Or maybe not.

Today, I wanted to ‘just quickly’ look up some Welsh fairy creatures. Just to get an idea what kind of mythological things populate that area. Just as background knowledge. Nothing to do with the story itself. That was this morning. Tonight… Well, let me put it like this: I dare anyone to ask me anything about Welsh mythology and get away in under an hour. Except for the pronunciation, which totally defeats me. Okay, so maybe I read too much, but it doesn’t feel too much. Rather, I totally underestimated the effects my ‘little bit’ of research would have on my story. Where I originally thought to have the standard range of fairy creatures (dwarves, elves, fairies, …) as a backdrop, maybe with a Welsh name thrown in here and there, I know realize that…

 … the actual creatures are so much more interesting! I mean, who wouldn’t prefer to have a disembodied screeching voice that announces the death of a person to a bunch of boring old elves? Or a black dog with putrid breath and fiery eyes to a run-of-the-mill ghost? And did you know that in Wales they have this amazing creature that is called the Water Leaper? It looks like a giant frog, only it has bat wings instead of forelegs and it snaps the lines of fishermen, and sometimes it eats the livestock. Cool or what?

… all these things, all the legends and mythical creatures and spirits and so on actually fit the story so much better! That will really throw my main character off balance, and she needs being thrown off balance pretty badly. To start seeing fairy creatures is one thing. But to see fairy creatures she has never even heard of before… Perfect!

… Yeah, well, that’s the drawback: I need to make major changes to my story.

*note to self: in future, do the damn research *in depth* before you even start typing the first word!*

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About wordsurfer

writer, ex-teacher, human rights believer & fighter, traveller, adventure-seeker, freedom lover, global citizen. big on daydreams, less so on reality.

Posted on May 5, 2012, in day-to-day, surfing language and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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