research for book

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research for book

Post by ericjay » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:17 am

Hello folks,
I am writing a post-apocalyptic short novel. nuclear winter is the disaster and its cold and it involves cannibals, canned foods, and very very minimalistic gear. 10 years into nuclear winter. any advice or tips or anything to help throw into this project?

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Re: research for book

Post by TacAir » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:31 am

Yes. Do your own research, otherwise, you will not have the grasp of facts needed to write a credible story.

BTW - the whole Nuclear Winter thing has pretty much been depreciated. You might have better luck selling world-wide climate change (for the worse) from a disaster - owing to a series of major volcanic eruptions. More believable and something in the news today....

Good luck!

This might be better served in the Fiction section. Flag down a Mod and ask for it to be moved....
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Re: research for book

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:59 am

When it comes to a "science-based fiction" (not syfy fantasy) I always liked Michael Cricton. I can tell by reading his books that he adapted his explanations and story to things that he knew and was interested in. The key is to make the research feel real. He took the basics, and expanded it in a logical way.

Take Jurassic Park. The whole book was basically written about evolution. He just took he simple ideas and applied it to genetics and then created the story. He didn't bring in things he didn't know about or didn't research.

Clive Cussler does a good job too in his advenures. Everything he writes, he has done or experienced in some way.

If it is something you know or experienced, use that. It will feel real because it is real. If you try to bring in information on radiation sickness and explain it scientifically with no knowledge of radiation, it will feel forced and fake. It is OK for your story and characters not to know everything.

But for your story, I like non-stop action.... if you care about what I think :) Maybe bring a Jeep into the story if you can :)
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Re: research for book

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:27 am

Topic moved to books.

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Re: research for book

Post by TheZone » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:01 pm

As an author I'll pitch two pennies' worth:

1) write what you know, especially in plot points. Since winter is a big issue in your plot, make sure you have experienced full-on winter weather. Nothing kills a plot as quickly as an author writing about something he hasn't a clue about.

2) I'll second those arguing against nuclear winter itself. Writing in a post-apoc setting genre is very, very tough because your reader base tends to be drawn from the sorts of people who have an interest in, and a knowledge of, disasters and survival issues.

3) Cannibals make for an interesting enemy, but facing your reader base as noted in #2, as a writer you will have to explain where they find enough healthy survivors to stay fed.

4) Avoid 'short'. 80,000 words should be your minimum count, and I personally recommend hitting a hundred. You don't want to g much over in that genre, though.

Good luck, and posts thoughts and issues here-this board is a perfect sounding board for issues; both my zombie novels were heavily influenced by information from posters here. There is a virtually sea of knowledge, experience, and opinion here.
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