I’ve have recently started research for my next manuscript, and it is on a topic which I know very little about. I have checked out books from multiple libraries and have raided the children’s sections, just in case there was something basic that should be general knowledge by my age. And all the while I have been reminded of the Samuel Johnson quote; ‘…a man will turn over half a library to make one book.’
This is the first time I have required a significant amount of research before writing any words. Up to now, I have written reality based fiction, generally set in Australia, and with characters that come from backgrounds which, while not always like mine, are backgrounds I can understand.
The experience has given me even more appreciation for the work of fantasy and sci-fi writers. While I have always admired the ability to create an entire world, with different rules, norms, laws etc. I naively assumed that all these elements would come to the author in the same way characters come to me; fully formed. Having to go through the creation process now, makes me want to go buy more fantasy books to tell the authors that their work is appreciated.
However, researching my historical fantasy is still only a light version of the genre. How do writers develop ideas like, ‘Wingardium Leviosa’, or ‘One Ring to rule them all’? Any fantasy or sci-fi writers out there, please let me in on your secrets.