The idea for this blog came as my wife and I have been planning a vacation. Usually when we think of vacation it is fun and relaxation, but when we think of researching a book it is hard work.
While on the face of it the two are not compatible, they can actually work together. One of the things most vacationers like to do is take pictures, both still and video. And one of the tools used for research is pictures. And there you have the connection.
Almost any genre can be researched when on a vacation. Here in the south there are many vacation spots where we could research geography, history or simply the local flavor of a town. Come to think about it, that’s not just the south, it is anywhere.
For example, one of our favorite vacations was St. Augustine, Florida. This city is loaded with history and geography. The city claims to be the oldest city in America, has a 17th century fort, founded by Ponce De Leon, and so much more history. Plus lots of geography.
When visiting a place like that you want to take a lot of pictures. Not to be filed away in a closet, but as potential story lines or at least background material. And you do this while having a good time!
I don’t know if one of us will some day write a story that takes place in St. Augustine, but we could.
Another source is brochures. These are usually packed with information that can tickle your imagination. Plus, there is the experience itself of walking the streets, visiting the various historical buildings, and seeing the city.
All of these take place on a vacation and are potential research material for future stories.
But, you say, I’m not planning t write on the place we’re going to vacation at. Doesn’t matter. You might change your mind, in which case if you took the pictures and picked up the brochures you have a gold mine of information.
Or you might use the material for some other real or imaginary place!
The simplicity is amazing! You actually do research while enjoying yourself. Instead of hours on the computer you see, feel, and smell the facts that may be just the nugget that fires up your imagination!
So use your vacation as a research tool.
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