Gathering Your Intel.

book one battle for terra

Credit to the Photographers and Image owners. All pictures gathered from Pinterest.
For the record, there is no movie. This is just who who I pictured when I wrote the book. Except Kensi and Jason’s eyes are green in my story 😀

I want to apologise for falling behind, again. I have been in a world of chaos at present, trying to juggle new schedules and deal with a tumblr glitch. We won’t go discussing that as there is not enough coffee in my house to make it come out nicely. :S

I thought today we might have a chat about researching your story. Every book will need some kind of research, even if it’s knowledge that you have previously gained elsewhere, through study, work or other books. For some, like me, I find it easier when I can visualise my character or certain aspects of my story. This can be anything from an image I find online that suits my character or a song. For those who read my other post, Busy, Busy, Busy, you will have noticed that for my new manuscript, I have somehow managed to relate a medieval fantasy story to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

For my Battle for Terra series, when I had issues I often thought about the characters and people who inspired my own. Or went into my Pinterest board.

Addie car

Photo credit to the owner. Another Pinterest find.
Addie’s car from Binary. Except in blue.

Pinterest is my all time most favouritist, bestest, most wonderfullest place for research. And yes, all that counts as good English. I may have a mild obsession with the site, and it is a procrastinator’s dream. Not so much for my hubby who hears, you will never guess what I saw on Pinterst today. That’s usually a sign for him to leave before I give him another job to do.

Each of my books has its own Pinterest board (including each book in a series), all made secret as some of my pins will give away the plots. I even have a board for images or quotes, even writing prompts that have popped up and have given me ideas for a new story.

Each of my boards contains, pictures of what my main characters would look like. The clothing, weapons, landscape pictures, cars (if there is some) that kind of thing.

I also have the app on my phone, so I can look things up wherever I am. You can find anything and everything on there. It’s incredibly rare you can’t. And almost all sites have a Pin this button. If they don’t you can copy the weblink and add it to your Pinterest board for safe keeping. It is similar to a cloud drive.

kensi clothes

Credit to the owner.
The image that inspired Kensi’s fighting outfit in Battle for Terra.


My next favourite site it YouTube. A fabulous place for tutorials, such as combat. One of my books uses eskrima (kali stick) fighting. I used it to learn some of the techniques. I also now know how to knock a man unconscious, pressure points and all about R.I.P bullets. It is a great learning resource. But does come with the don’t try this at home warning for kids.

Wikipedia…I love the site. It’s informative, gives you a base run down on what things are. HOWEVER, the site can be updated by anyone! The information can be falsified and what you read can be a pile of rubbish. So be careful. I use it as a starting point on things I am after. Eg Stonehenge, I read the basics then use the references to go find more information. But if you are just after a basic run down, jump on it. It’s great.

I do use your standard online dictionary and I have a google translator on speed dial (I needed Latin for part of my Battle for Terra novels.)

And how can I forget Google Maps. I love Google Maps. Not only can I view the map form, I can view satellite images and find out how far it would be to drive, walk, catch a bus. It’s a great way to add that bit more realism to your work.

And last but not least, generators. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these sites. If you want a name type name generator into your search engine and it will bring up some options. These places random select names and bring them up. It’s great if you are struggling to think of one. My favourite so far is a medieval insult generator. But there si a generator for almost anything. So have a look.

These are my basic go to guides for research, at least to start with. They can provide a wealth of information, some amazing plot ideas, fabulous starting points and inspiration to get it done. But they can take time away from your writing so be careful.

What are your favourite sites?





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