Facts help make your fiction more believable. Research can be tortuous, but it is a necessary part of the writing process, even if you’re creating a whole new world. Sometimes, it can help you get a better idea of the world your characters exist in and thus can enhance the writing process in that way. Here is a list of a few resources I’ve come across on the Internet recently that I plan to add to my personal arsenal when I begin future projects involving creating characters, settings and plot.
- Friend or Foe: What the Shape of Your Face Says About You
This article popped up in my Facebook newsfeed thanks to IFL Science. It talks about the various shapes of people’s faces and what shape is believed to be more anticipatory of foul behavior. I definitely plan to keep this in mind when I create villains going forward.
- 10 Ways to Create a Near-Future World that Won’t Look Too Dated
I know a lot of sci-fi writers and, of course, one big writing trend right now is the Dystopian or apocalyptic future. Here are some great tips from IO9 on how to go about world-building in a believable but creative way. One of my favorite tips from this list: “Remember that subcultures develop organically.”
- Survival skills:
i. How to build a fire
ii. How to build shelter
iii. All about medicinal plants
iv. Five basic survival techniques
- 1000 Most Popular Names of the 1890s
I love to research names. It’s one of my favorite parts of character building. If you’re writing in a particular period, don’t forget to consider what names were popular at the time. Even last names are an important thing to research. I look at census records for information about popular names at various time periods and more. Sometimes just combing through a list of names is the most helpful because, eventually, something will click. That’s what happened with my character Eleanor Westfall. I knew her name was Eleanor, but I had no last name. Typically, I hate figuring out last names for characters. But for this particular story, it was necessary. Luckily I came up with something regal sounding since she’s supposed to come from a wealthy family.