Behind the Stories: Research and Field Testing Story Details

ToyCar2The “Behind the Stories” pages on my website have been updated for several of my books with a sample of research links for each story, new related blog posts, a short playlist for SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN, pictures of my organization-crazy scene board for HOW TO SAVE A LIFE, and a few tidbits about the writing of BREATHE, including why I smashed the toy car pictured above. You can check out all the new info at the links below:

BREATHE
Breathe

TAKE ME HOME
Take Me Home

HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
How to Save a Life

SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN
Something to Believe In

Kevin’s Song for HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

Maybe because HOW TO SAVE A LIFE is going through the final stages of editing, I don’t know, but I can’t get this song out of my head. It’s definitely Kevin’s song.

You can view the rest of my playlist for this book on my website.

 
Naked by Avril Lavigne

Behind the Stories: A Preview in Pictures

When writing I often utilize my imagination, but I also will pull from my own experiences and the details I can recall about certain places I’ve been or people I’ve met. For Take Me Home I was able to use my experience of traveling across the United States on a passenger train.

But I also do a fair bit of research for each of my stories. I used to dread research, but I’ve learned to embrace it and see it as an opportunity for two reasons: 1) to learn something new about whatever I’m researching and 2) to expand my understanding of the world and the characters in which I’m writing about in a particular story.

I’m a visual person. I find pictures and videos helpful to really get into the story. Even if my description ends up nowhere close to the visual, the images create a spark of ideas in my mind that keeps the description from being stale and typical (at least typical for my writing and my usual vocabulary). Through my writing research I’ve learned about places, occupations, animals, symbolism, and more I might never have had a reason to delve into otherwise.

During my research phase of writing Take Me Home, I saved links and images and descriptions in one document for inspiration as I wrote. So I thought I’d share a preview of Take Me Home using only a sampling of the pictures from my research notes. Under each photo is a link where I found the photo and the credit if it’s available.

**Please note: Some may consider the following minor spoilers for the story, but the pictures give away only a few more specifics than the blurb and merely illustrate the story’s premise.


Photo Credit: Yuri_Arcurs


Photo Credit: kupicoo


Image Credit: Amtrak website


Photo Credit: Wigwam Jones


Image Credit: Amtrak


Photo Credit: Amtrak


Photo Credit: Amtrak


Photo Credit: Amtrak


Image Credit: Amtrak


Image Credit: Amtrak


Photo Credit: no body atoll


Photo Credit: pferriola


Photo Credit: Virtual Farm Boy


Photo Credit: The West End


Photo Credit


Photo Credit


Photo Credit: Minerva Bloom


Photo Credit: oakmechinsl


Photo Credit: oakmechinsl


Photo Credit: oakmechinsl


Photo Credit: oakmechinsl


Photo Credit: oakmechinsl


Photo Credit: Decarli


Photo Credit: Decarli


Photo Credit: Decarli


Photo Credit: Loco ( Inactive ) Steve


Photo Credit: Loco ( Inactive ) Steve


Photo Credit: Loco ( Inactive ) Steve


Photo Credit: Loco ( Inactive ) Steve


Photo Credit: Loco ( Inactive ) Steve


Photo Credit


Photo Credit: Doug Wornom collection

This one’s a video, you can watch here if it’s not embedded below.


Photo Credit

Read the blurb and preview excerpts for Take Me Home