Thursday, July 19, 2012

Research Takes Over

I couldn't understand my historical writer friends who said they would get so caught up in the research, it would put a major crimp in their daily writing.  One friend said she spent about three hours in research for every one hour of writing.

Now I get it. It's been happening to me.

We are so lucky to be living in the digital age, where things are available with the click of a button (or two). We get impatient with sites that aren't intuitive, and we leave, because there are ten others we could use as a resource. If a web page doesn't load in three seconds, we're off to the next one that will.

I've been doing lots of research on Navy SEALs for my series. I've subscribed to some loops for families of military, as well as some facebook pages that post information, and great pictures. I've made the mistake of reading some of the comments. And it distresses me a little.

Is it just me, or is everyone going bonkers all of a sudden? Or was it always this way, and I'm just now sensitive because of the election? Regardless of what side of the spectrum we are, there are some really mean, hateful people haunting certain groups or pages. And, like driving past a bad accident, I sometimes have a hard time not reading the comments. There are some seriously disturbed people out there. And the rumors! Yesterday someone commented that the government had killed the entire SEAL Team  6 in a secret helicopter crash. There's a novel in there somewhere...

I guess there will always be conspiracy theorists. Men and women fought and died for our freedom to express ourselves, to live the open and wonderful lifestyle we now have. So I guess we all have to put up with the crazies. God forbid anyone would label me such.

I have no problem turning off the TV or the radio. None whatsoever. For me, the ads are what I cannot handle any longer. I listen to Sirrius Satellite as much as possible.

That's why I like to write fiction, romance in particular. Fantasy. Make believe. Where everything has a  happily ever after, and I can clip or trim the dialogue of my characters to my own choosing without causing a stir. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. Heaven help us if I would get to be Queen of the World. Now that is truly a dangerous thought!

What about you? Do you get sucked into doing too much research, or reading too many "other" opinions it interferes with your real life? Your writing life? How do you cut it off?

Some great research books on the Teams below. Amazon spiders must have found me out!

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 
by Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson 

Price: $8.99 
Learn more
Add to wishlist
Service: A Navy SEAL at WarService: A Navy SEAL at War 
by Marcus Luttrell, James D. Hornfischer 

List Price: $27.99 
Price: $16.59 
You Save: $11.40 (41%) 
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The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest MarksmenThe Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen 
by Brandon Webb, John David Mann, Marcus Luttrell 

List Price: $26.99 
Price: $15.33 
You Save: $11.66 (43%) 
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Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, UsnSeal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, Usn 
by Gary Williams 

List Price: $18.95 
Price: $10.98 
You Save: $7.97 (42%) 
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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 
by Dick Couch 

List Price: $15.00 
Price: $10.20 
You Save: $4.80 (32%) 
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SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL SniperSEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper 
by Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin 

List Price: $15.99 
Price: $10.87 
You Save: $5.12 (32%) 
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Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SealWarrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal 
by Chuck Pfarrer 

Price: $7.99 
Learn more
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Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!
Sharon Hamilton

Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon


  1. Hi Sharon,

    First of all, thanks for visiting my blog the other day :)

    Oh do I ever get sucked into too much research! It's my passion and I have to remind myself that all the research in the world will not a novel make :). Oh, and the first photo you posted...the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I've been there. It's amazing! If only, if only they'd let me do research in there. I'd never leave!

    Happy Thursday,

    1. Thanks, Jen. Yes, I'm the same. I'd never leave! We could live there forever...
      So glad to see another sufferer! Welcome!

  2. Sharon, we (meaning my generation and younger that grew up with the internet) call those idiots in the comments "internet trolls" or just "trolls" for short.

    It's a lot like what you talked about in your RRR post last week - jerks who feel it's their job to force their idiotic ideas down other people's throats. They're all over the internet, no matte what the subject is. I've learned to ignore comments because all they do is piss me off. So I don't read them and I certainly don't add my own opinion because it just encourages them to argue with you.

    I took a critical thinking class in collage, I know how to make up my own mind about the world - don't need other people telling me what to think. ;-)

    That being said, most of my research involves looking up "facts" - mainly locations, dates, historical events, and how things work. I do have fun researching because it's usually a topic I'm interested in and because it gives me ideas that snowball off each other. I can usually outline a whole novel just based on the ideas I get while researching. It's a good feeling. :)

    1. Danielle, I agree with you about the Trolls. I think those of us of the older generation still see it as too personal, and I know I have to get over that. We can't fix the world, and shouldn't even try. And sometimes, no matter what you say, people don't understand. Some never will.


      I completely agree on the research and finding stories there. I got the Be With Me time travel story from reading an article after seeing The Mountains Of The Moon movie on TV on Richard Burton. Now I own about 10 of his books, read all his journals of his travels, and got kind of stuck, while I started the book. That's the one that I hesitate to go back to, because I literally go back in time. I actually feel like I've lived there.

      Now that would make another story. A writer who sent herself back. I know it's been done before, as most stories. But fun to think about, right?

  3. So little time, so many much research available! I've read three of those books, and the others are on my Amazon wish list. LOL! The rumors are sometimes based in facts or conglomerations of other stories. Best thing for trolls is to ignore them. However, I've also learned to do my own homework. Whoohoo! More research! :-)

    1. Sometimes that research is more fun than others!! Like Yummy!!

  4. Sharon, I research only for fact, and do not bother with 'other opinions'. Why, you ask? Because many opinions 'garnered' from 'out there' if not the majority, are ill-advised, ill-informed, biased, prejudicial, inconsiderate, mean-hearted,small-minded, argumentative, or just plain wrong.
    OUR opinions as writers are the ones we should be expressing. Let others judge OUR opinions on their merit, and based on fact. The pen is mightier than the sword OR the misinformed.

    Yes, sometimes research can be fun--but it can also completely ruin the intent of your article and debase your correct opinion. ":)

    1. Well said, Raymond. As a man of science, I especially appreciate your comment about information being downright, "ill-advised, ill-informed, biased, prejudicial, inconsiderate, mean-hearted, small-minded, argumentative, or just plain wrong."

      I think we find these in all walks of life and in all writing. Don't mind opinion as long as it's labeled such. Accepting facts can be like the great words of Stevie Wonder, "When you believe in things you don't understand, you suffer."

      Thanks for your comments today. ;)

  5. This sounds like interesting research. I don't really need to research anything.


  6. I just finished reading Accidental Seal and I loved it! Its the little details which I'm sure are the result of hours and hours of research that I think really make the characters/book real to me. Can't wait for the next book!

    1. Thank you soooooo much. Can I impose on your to write a review? Yes, all the above books give excellent insight into the heart, mind and physical aspects of the Teams.