Tuesday, 3 February 2009

GOING NATIVE

If I'm writing about something, I like, where possible, to have direct experience of it, otherwise I'm essentially writing about someone else's view of it. In this short story of mine, a character is beaten up, so, during its composition, when a night was several beers in, I asked a friend to give me his best shot. Annoyingly, he did; I have the missing tooth to remind me.

For this week's research I'm concentrating on how to throw and centre clay on a potter's wheel, as well as how to escape from prison. Luckily, a good friend is a ceramicist, but I'm going to have to work a little harder for the latter.

All this got me thinking how far other writers have gone in the pursuit of research:

"We've got the boat and the zebra, Mr Martel, and the hyena and orangutan. But the Bengal tiger is proving trickier."

2 comments:

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Lovely idea, this blog, and lots of good luck Tom. I will look forward to reading about your progress!

Re research: I have so far visited a tin mine in Cornwall, and talked to miners who remember using a particular piece of equipment... because I am obsessed with this equipment as a superb metaphor. I have been to Ireland to copper mines, on the trail of the same thing! I have talked to an undertaker. And I use google a lot.

A colleague wanted to know what it would be like to be inside a concrete pipe. So she rang round builder's merchants until one allowed her to sit insside one for a while.

funny lot, arent we!

TOM J VOWLER said...

Funny, indeed, Vanessa. Thanks for stopping by. You'll see we ordered some snow and ice here for your return!