Research: It's What Writer's Do

I will admit that I have not kept up with my writing goal of 1,667 words per day. No, I'm not giving up on NaNoWriMo, but I am gonna go out on a limb here and let myself, the usual idealist, be a realist for a moment and reveal to you that I believe that I won't be able to finish writing 50,000 words of The Water Bringer in only a month. I knew that was a crazy word goal when I started this, and I still believe it is.

All that said, sadly sickness and work at the bookstore and plot-holes have taken over my life this past week and I've not written one single word since the fourth of November. (I cannot believe I just said that on here, albeit truthful!)

Instead of panicking about the words which I have yet to write though I've decided to just not worry about it and keep on pressing forward. I'm going to take my time with this story. I'll be working on the plot outlines, my characters and some serious world building as I continue on and hopefully along the way I can still manage to get my word count up.

Since I've not been writing research is what I've been doing in the absence of crafting together words...

While I was sick I watched a TON of movies, and I must say that as a writer watching worlds come to life before your very eyes that were once a pool of words too is a brilliant place to find inspiration. It's like movies house inspiration for me or something! So, I thought I'd share with you about what I've been doing for research for 'The Water Bringer' since I haven't been writing on the actual novel as of late.

My Research Materials & Inspiration Found

The Polar Bear King, Doctor Who, Merlin, Snow White: A Tale of Terror [don't let the kiddos watch this was a really good adaptation and I learned a lot about story building from this one though], Beauty & The Beast

The Village Soundtrack

The Lord of The Rings Sountracks

Illuminations by Josh Groban

Plenty of Books

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

A Novel Idea by various authors

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson 

My Heart's in the Lowlands by Liz Curtis Higgs

Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brother's Grimm 

The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews

The Frog Princess and Other Tales Illustrated by Nikolai Ustinov

The Ice Dragon by E. Nesbit

This site has proven to be the biggest and best resource I've used so far for my novel. They have excellent resources on Celtic myths as well as every other mythology that you can possibly imagine. Really you CAN wiki anything! 

There are a bazillion-and-one ideas and loads of inspiration on this site if you'll only look. Just type in Scotland for instance, or whatever else strikes your fancy, into the search bar and your off! I have a WHOLE NaNoWriMo board for my novel ideas. Check out my inspiration for TWB HERE

( <<< This is one of Jared's characters called "Voice" and it is also his original art piece. You can find his art gallery HERE


Now I doodle occasionally and will sketch out maps for my worlds sometimes, but admittedly I'm no great artist. My awesome boyfriend is though, PTL! Jared actually helped me conceptualize a scene in my novel and then being the sweet 'n' handsome 'n' artsy man that he is he sketched out the whole scene for me. It is brilliant and hilarious and I adore the sketch to pieces! I can't wait to go see him again soon so we can work on some more scenes and sketches of my characters together (of course I'll be the mega author brain and he'll be the awesome artist guy brain on the case!)

Chats with Writer Friends
This I think has been the most important thing on my writing journey so far: Writing Friends. They are there to ping ideas off of and to bring encouragement and they are truly invaluable. The talks and e-mails and chats that I've shared with my fellow writing companions have proven to be such a blessing to me. I'm so glad to have as many nerdy and fairy tale loving writer friends as I do who are willing to talk myths and story and dialogue and books with me all day long. Thank you for letting me share my pieces of my novel-world with you and for sharing yours with me! (YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

I really want to know... 
  • How do you research for your writing projects/novels? 
  • What kind of music do you listen to while writing? 
  • What is your NaNo (or non nano) novel about? 
  • What are some great reads that I should be reading? 
  • What is your favorite fairy tale of all time? 

So why not pick a question to answer or be uber daring and answer them all, but PLEASE don't be shy!


  1. I've spent far too many hours browsing Wikipedia and TV Tropes. Especially for world building. I'm such a geography nerd.

  2. I've owed you an email for a couple weeks now...I'm excited to hear you're still planning on writing. I've been falling behind too but mostly because of a lack of time, not plot. Thanks for sharing!

  3. First off-what a fun post! And quite encouraging to ME, as well...because I, too, have not written 1667 words a day...and took a hiatus since November 4th! Life, new job and family birthdays have taken priority...but I'm finally out of the "rut" of guilt I stepped in. ;) As I began to type out my answers to your questions...I thought they'd make a terrific "outline" of sorts for a blog post of my own! Visit soon and it SHOUld be up. ;)

  4. I definitely enjoy listening to movie soundtracks while I write! I don't have many but here are the few I've liked enough IN the movie to get the soundtrack to listen to:

    The Lord of the Rings Original Soundtrack(s for all three movies though I tend to only listen to one song from the first because the first movie's soundtrack seems very synth-ed for some reason)

    Danny Elfman's Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack for (of course) Tim Burton's film adaptation

    Pirates of the Carribbean Original Soundtrack (for all three movies, though specifically for the last two - same kind of thing as with LOTR, the first just wasn't as good production value)

    As far as reading...well as far as possible novel-related inspiration value I would suggest:

    The Naming: The First Book of Pellinor by Alison Croggon which I have read and loved (really need to finish the rest of the series! Because it has a great heroine and her name is Maerad which is actually a rather Irish name, though I believe traditionally spelled differently.

    The Book of Celtic Wisdom by Michael Scott - I haven't read this yet but it looks rather promising! It's "a collection of the poems, proverbs, and aphorisms of the Celtic people that have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years."

    Now as far was just what I would suggest's a few things I finished recently that were fantastic:

    Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

    Juliet by Anne Fortier

    Siriana :)

  5. {Travis} I know what you mean, my fellow staller! ;)

    {Tiffany} Well, you didn't owe me, but I'm excited about reading that e-mail! =)

    {Meghan} I'll be on the lookout! Yay!

    {Siriana} Thank you SO MUCH for your recommendations! They are superb and well received, m'dear.

  6. Tons of great inspiration. How about tastes? Chocolate inspires me too! :O)

  7. Fabulous post! I love peeking into your brain, Sarah! :)

    Hmmm, favorite fairy-tale? Has to be Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

    And that picture of the Princess in the alabaster hall? Oh, man, so stealing it to use to spark some creativity of my own! :)

  8. How is the book writing coming along. I haven't heard much about that lately. Just wondering! Praying for you regarding your dreams! Love you!

  9. Writing has been a no go lately, I'm afraid. I've not had too much inspiration swimming around in my head lately, but now that I have a little more free time I think I may just try to pick my story up again and see what happens. ;)