The Page a Day Writers Group

Research is Half the Fun!

Posted on: December 2, 2009

Maria del Mar, the Latina protagonist in my young adult fiction series, is a typical unsure teen with larger-than-life qualities. She often sees her “talents” as a curse because they get her and her friends both into as well as out of trouble.
Let’s face it. It’s time for a Latina heroine. Besides, I’m having a blast with this!
This morning I spent an exciting hour researching You Tube for material I can use to make Maria’s skills believable. I watched clips of exciting Taekwondo moves since Maria is a black belt (See “Urban Ninja”  – totally fun!), videos of extreme running stunts (check out “Extreme Game of Tag” – when’s the last time you played a game of tag like that?), and outlandish tricks kids do on bikes (see “Defying Gravity on a Bike” – Wow!). With Internet access available all over the place, it doesn’t make sense not to make our stories, even wildly imaginative scenes, as real as possible for the reader.
You Tube is a great resource to get visual confirmation that your characters can do uncommon and sometimes amazing stunts. Use Google Maps and Google Earth to make settings more authentic. I also like to download photos from the net to refer to while I weave my tales.
Are you writing a fantasy that takes place in an imaginary world? These techniques also work to develop idealized settings in the reader’s mind by mixing facts about real places with your fictional landscapes.
Do you sometimes feel like blowing off your writing commitment for the day? Revisit your You Tube clips of songs and dynamic demos as well as clicking on favorite websites in your research file. Your fingers will get into the writing groove every time. Promise.

Trish Wilkinson, aka twtrifles


1 Response to "Research is Half the Fun!"

I love the idea of using YouTube and Google Earth for writing research! Thanks Trish.

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!


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