I apologize for not getting this posted sooner — I meant to write it last night and post it today, but I had such a busy day at work that I was too tired to type. But month end is over (yay!) and now I can get on with it.
To be absorbed is to be completely occupied mentally with or concentrating on something. You can be absorbed in a book, engrossed in a TV show, or captivated by a storyteller. You can become absorbed in a work task. A typical experience includes a lack of awareness of things happening around you, or a distraction that goes on and on and on until you look up and wonder, “How did it get so late?”
That’s one of the dangers of research — it can absorb you. It can happen over time as well, not just in one sitting. For example, I did a lot of reading when trying to authenticate miniatures I planned, in both dolls houses and room boxes. Along the way, however, I learned about lighting, architecture, period-appropriate technology for historical reproductions of interiors, and the history of miniatures themselves.
Some people spend oodles of money on this hobby. I don’t have oodles of money. I just have oodles of used books about it. And oodles of little tiny things I haven’t found a home for yet.
That’s not a real king’s bedroom; it’s a room in Queen Mary’s dolls house. Seriously. Check out the link.
On the other hand, I quite enjoy becoming so fascinated with a subject that I slightly obsess over it. I have a dear friend who does the same thing. He gets captivated by something and we all end up hearing about it for days on end. I believe, however, that this enriches his life. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two when he shares his discoveries. In that way, it enriches mine.
For Rose’s Hostage, I became slightly obsessed with bank robbery. I read about it, subscribed to the FBI’s emails (including their periodic statistical reports about this particular crime), and devoured information about famous robbers and incidents.
For Secret Book, it’s a number of things I’ve already mentioned in previous posts. And for Tunerville, I read a lot about ghost hunting. The rest I pretty much made up, except for a few conversations with a physics professor and a medical professional.
It sounds fun, but as I mentioned earlier, you must take care to avoid letting the research take over. Though I have begun several, I have never finished even ONE dolls house or room box. See what I mean about dangerous?
If I indulged myself like this while trying to write a book, nothing would get done. I have actually had to force myself to finish a story even if I’m uncomfortably hazy on the details. This is not the time to be a perfectionist.
Just write the damn thing and fill in the details later, silly.
So do your research, but leave time to do your work as well. Otherwise you may look up and find that the story has passed you by.