Thursday, February 3, 2011

Using Writing as an Excuse to do Anything

Seriously. I do this all the time. You probably do it too. You see some book in a store about some kind of questionable content that you're curious about but wouldn't want people to know you're curious about it because they'd give you funny/worried/disgusted looks and question you're sanity/morality. But you get it anyway, firmly telling yourself it's research for your book.

Or maybe you decide to take karate lessons, not because you're just interested but because that side character in your book that shows up for one scene does some pretty awesome kicks and stuff and you need to know how to describe such things! So you have to take lessons!

Or you know that place in New Zealand where you're book takes place? How are you ever going to describe such scenery without having been there first!?

And that stuff you read on the internet in the name of research for your book. . .  Goodness help you and the poor soul who decides to look at you browsing history. They'd be sure to send you to a mental hospital despite your pleas of, "It was for my book!"

And it is for your book, really. A little. But not wholly. Lots of times it's purely excuse, others it's only part that. Like my reading up on witchcraft and alchemy. I had found myself wanting to glance around at those two subject in the bookstore but never did. Until I found the perfect excuse. You see, having trouble coming up with a magic system I saw that section of books in the book store and it hit me: witchcraft. Alchemy. Those might help me with my magic system problems!

See? The perfect excuse. I really am reading them for that purpose, but not wholly, some of me is just genuinely curious about it, and I'm using writing as the excuse to not get those funny looks.

But hey, it works.

So what have you used writing as an excuse for? Vacations? Musical instruments? Some really really old and expensive book so you know what paper and book binding was like back in the day because of that scene where you have to explain that?



Claudie A. said...

I haven't quite done it, but at the suggestion from Awesome Boyfriend, I am planning to fly in a hot air balloon this weekend.

I've wanted that ever since I was a kid. Now my MC flies these things. How could I NOT research my subject thoroughly? ;)

Book Owl said...

Ooh that sounds like so much fun! Wish I knew where I could ride in an air balloon.

Ah yes, your MC flies them. Now you have a reason to take a hot air air balloon ride more than once. . . ;D

Have fun!

Misha said...

*cough cough* sword and duelling *cough cough*

Book Owl said...

Haha, that sounds kinda fun, that's probably something I'd do once or twice :D

Stephanie Faris said...

I went to bartending school. I took a ghost hunting course. I have researched very odd things on the Internet and watched some strange TV shows for research. But in addition to helping with writing, I think it makes me more well-rounded to learn about a variety of things.

Margo Berendsen said...

Ah yes, the scary browsing history one would find on my computer!!!

And the days I have spent planning a trip to Alaska for "research" - alas, the money hasn't come through for that one yet!

I've never taken lessons or bought anything expensive in the way of research, though.

Book Owl said...

Stephanie Faris- Ghost hunting course? Ooh, that sounds interesting :D And I totally do the watching strange tv shows thing.

Margo- Alaska would make wonderful research. Mountains, snow. . . All that far north stuff that for some reason is always prettier than the places further south.

And luckily I haven't yet spent outrageous amounts of money on 'research' stuff. And though I've been interested I haven't taken lessons on anything. Yet.