Research For Writing

How deep are you willing to delve into your characters’ world to be better at making them come alive on paper? My upcoming book, Joshua’s Tree Book One, has a female character named Nadia who’s a butt-kicking genetically engineered warrior. While working on this trilogy, I wanted to become more familiar with her world of swordplay and martial arts, so I started taking Tae Kwon Do. I didn’t have any martial arts experience prior to this, so I guessed a lot when writing Nadia’s battle scenes. But now, after a year of kicks, punches and “keyas!” it is so much easier to write about her, and her fight scenes are more vivid and realistic. I go to a really cool Tae Kwon Do class near my house that allows whole families to train at once. My wife and two children take the classes with me so not only has it become great research for my writing, it is a time for my family to bond and we are all getting in really awesome shape to boot. Our school’s motto is “The family who kicks together sticks together.” And if I can kick through six boards with my bare foot after only a year of training, imagine what my character Nadia can do after a lifetime of studying to be a warrior!


About nwharrisbooks

Born and raised in a small town in north Georgia, my imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding my family's log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee hours I read books. My face was rarely seen, always hidden behind a binding. I was nurtured on fiction. Now it is my turn to create some of my own. I live in sunny southern California with my beautiful wife and two perfect children (I may be biased). I write like I read, constantly. I studied anthropology at UCSB and medicine at SUNY Buffallo.
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3 Responses to Research For Writing

  1. jadereyner says:

    I’m scared you’ll think I’m stalking you but I do enjoy all your posts! My characters are at present written from personal experience but I think you make an excellent point. You can’t possibly write about something with any degree of believability if you have no knowledge of it yourself. I am just considering what hobby I would like to take up – and then I can build a character around it! Lol.

    • I love that you are reading my posts. After all, a cook just wants someone to enjoy the the meal they create, and a writer wants someone to read what they write (and hopefully (fingers crossed) like it). I hope you will enjoy my book, Joshua’s Tree, when it comes out in June (June 28 is the date they give me at this point) as much as you like my blog. Thanks so much for your comments, they mean the world to me. I’m planning on doing a series of blogs on writing research, so I hope you enjoy my future posts as well. I’ll be delving into immortality from a science fiction perspective next. It’s a subject all those vampire writers have had a blast with, but my book deals with it from more of a scientific approach.

      • jadereyner says:

        Well I shall continue to follow and look forward to your future posts! And I’ll keep you informed if I decide on a new hobby – all in the name of research of course! Happy writing and research. And if your wife is a fan of Romance/Thriller style books – mine is out in the next couple of weeks. Would be great to get some feedback as it’s my first ever……! Scary times. 🙂

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