Monday, February 8, 2010

All things Medieval

So my WIP is High World Fantasy. I am trying to research many different things.

Like is it mail or maille? And should my main character have the nickname J.R.?

I find google can find answers for either side of a debate. I am not even sure I am using the term "High World Fantasy" correctly.

What are you researching for your WIP? Do you use the internet? Google? Or the reliable library?


Michelle Gregory said...

the thing that most suprised me about writing a fantasy novel was how authentic i wanted my world to feel, and since it's based on a medieval type world, i had to do research. who would have thought you'd have to do research about real life to do a fantasy novel? and in the process, i think i learned more about the middle ages than i really wanted to know. glad i didn't live back then.

Nisa said...

I've heard pure fantasy termed "high fantasy" or "epic fantasy". I think they're synonymous.

I do most of my research online because I don't have a local library to depend on and there is a wealth of info that is accurate. :)

Lori Lundquist said...

Hi, KM!
I'm an on-line research fanatic. I don't always find what I'm looking for, and if that's the case, I try at the library - which here in K-Town is not too helpful.
One of my current WIPs requires info. on modern day human trafficking and slavery in America. And country music, which has opened a whole new can of worms b/c I find myself LIKING a lot of it. OH NO! :-)
Happy Monday! Write on, sister/friend!

Anonymous said...

I do most of mine online. I've called a few people (like a lock smith---had to find out what happened to safes when frozen for my novel frostbite). It was fun talking to a human about their profession. Experts for sure. :-)

Oh, and the action moves I write about, I went and saw my nephew at karate, had him show me some things, and did a lot online with You Tube to get some of the moves down enough to describe them.

Lots of resources out there, both online and human form. :-)

Write on, my friend.

Chris said...

I read an article in a book about the sub-categories of fantasy once, and ended up coming out more confused than I had been before.

Just recently I researched derogatory terms used in medieval times. Shakespeare is what sparked the interest in that subject. One of his characters used the word "churl" to describe someone, and I had to know what it meant. It's a social status just above a slave, btw. You could get a gauntlet in the face for calling someone a name from one of the lower castes. That says a whole lot about medieval society, doesn't it? Like Michelle, I'm glad I didn't live back then.

I use a mixture of both the internet and library. Sometimes it's just nice to hold a book instead of a laptop. :)

Kat Heckenbach said...

I use the internet if I just need a single fact, but to research something involved, I'd rather read books.

One of the short stories I'm working on right now requires some research on werewolves. I couldn't find what I wanted online OR at the library, but I found a free Kindle book and downloaded it :).

Peter Stone said...

Great questions.
I think more commonly called 'high fantasy' or 'epic fantasy?.'

I did masses of research before starting my fantasy novel, and the best sources of info I found were from:

Medieval European Armies 1300-1500 (Men at Arms Series, 50) Osprey Books, the best source of info on medieval arms, weapons, tactics. And it's mail I believe.

Also these books are simply awesome:
Life in a Medieval City by Joseph Gies
Life in a Medieval Village by Frances Gies
Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph Gies

I had to hunt these down from a mail order site 20 years ago, but are readily available from Amazon now.

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman is also awesome.

KM Wilsher said...

Wow this is so helpful, Peter thanks!

What great comments from all!

Thanks for stopin by!

Brandon said...

This is a great question!! I use the internet almost exclusively, because that's all I have time for.

My latest WIP I've had to research things like "wetware" and "Brain Machine Interface".

My last novel was an archeological adventure, so I went and explored various tourism websites and city websites regarding places like Nazereth and Istanbul.