Topic: Research

Busy in Oxford for my usual summer research trip. I work a lot in the Bodleian Library, which being a copyright library tries to have everything ever published in the UK and British Empire. that makes it a good resource, to say the least!
Burrowing through old books on Sudan in the 1910s and Berlin in the 1920s is heaps of fun, and also helps to inform my developing projects. For example, the characters in my Cairo mystery series need to take a train down to Khartoum, and I found details on what the train looked like, how long it took, and what the journey was like in different classes of carriage. All great material that sparks ideas.
I also found out that the colonial government had a hard time keep up telegraph lines in south Sudan because elephants and giraffes would scratch themselves on the telegraph poles and knock them over! Not sure what I'll do with that particular bit of information. . .
The main challenge I have with research is staying in target. There's such a wealth of material here it's easy to get distracted and get lost down interesting rabbit holes.
What are you researching, and how do you go about it?


Re: Research

i often do google searches for information. I write modern supernatural fantasy stuff so alot of what i look up is mostly for references instead of direct information. I do look up years of events or general events of history so i can tweak them for my story. I tend to browse for the randomest bits of knowledge. Like finding out that Icelandic is nearly identical to ancient norse, so much so that its nearly the same language with minor slang changes and such. So where I plan to use The World Serpent, Jörmungandr... he only speaks Ancient Norse. So i have him speaking Icelandic as a way to match it up as close as possible.


Re: Research

Cool. In the Shetland Islands up until the early years of the 20th century, the fishermen had their own language they only used when out fishing. I can't recall the reason. I think it was some sort of superstition. That language was almost pure Old Norse.