Tuesday, 3 February 2009


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."


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!