Under normal circumstances, I’m interested in pretty much everything. However, in the interests of ever completing the current novel, I’m narrowing it down to a few especially relevant categories.
(In weeks to come, each of these subjects will be connected to its own page with collected data and opportunities to put in your own feedback. Stay tuned!)
The fantasy novel I’m working on, “The Proverbial Tavern,” takes place in a traditional swords-and-sorcery setting. Though I can’t, of course, research the sights and sounds of magical duels, I can study the more martial (and realistic) aspects of battles with swords and maces.
A while back, I had the opportunity to observe medieval-style combat at Kalamazoo Val Day, an event hosted by the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). The weapons were blunted to prevent serious injury, but it still provided far more insight than any movie fight scenes, especially in terms of understanding the noise and impact. (Also, it was fun!) I would highly recommend attending an event like this to any fantasy author.
If you have insight you’d like to share, or there’s a common error you’ve seen fiction authors make in the way they describe medieval combat, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Modern Military Experience
Some of the characters in the Worlds Collide series have served or are serving in the real-world modern military prior to being drawn into their current adventure. Realism is a major focus for me (see my About page for why), so I hope to learn more about life in the armed service, in order to accurately portray how my characters might react to traversing strange, often hostile territory, accompanied by civilians.
I’ve been fortunate to get input from a number of military service personnel, on the following survey I created. If you happen to be a veteran or are currently serving, and would like to add your perspective, I’d love your help!
Nerds of Color
For many people, the image that springs to mind at the word “gamer” is still a white dude, age 18-30, in his natural habitat, “Mom’s basement.” I was a girl gamer back when everyone joked that GIRL stood for “guy in real life,” and I may also be slightly older than 18, so I’ve experienced a bit of the “you’re not one of us” mentality. However, some of my characters are persons of color, and I’m sure their experience with gaming culture has probably differed from mine in some respects. I’d like to understand those better.
If you are a gamer who doesn’t fit the stereotypical demographic, I’d love to hear you share your stories and educate me on this delicate subject I want to handle well.
Important Note: Any information you submit on any of the above topics will be considered confidential, unless you explicitly state otherwise. Although this data is obviously meant to be research for my writing, neither the names nor any identifying details of real persons would ever be used.