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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Researching Your Writing

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.


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I like doing research for some of my fiction before I begin writing. When I wrote Don't Call Me Baby, I refamiliarized myself with the art world. I majored in art in college, so it was only natural I look into it again. I also researched 1980s trends since the book is set during that era. I lived through it, since the book is loosely based on my life when I was in college, but I needed to refamiliarize myself with Candies shoes, big hair, and monokinis. The trip back in time was very pleasant.

I'm currently working on two short horror stories – one set in modern times and one set in the 1630s. I've based the stories on the lives of people who lived in Dogtown, an abandoned Colonial settlement that straddles Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. I've created a fictitious island for my soon-to-be-published family saga/thriller novel Secrets and Lies, and I've set these two stories in Nash's Common, which is my version of Dogtown. Nash's Common will figure prominently in my two horror stories.

All that is left of the dozen or so homes in the original settlement is stone cellar holes. The homes were made of wood and have long ago faded into the elements. It's hard to tell these are cellar holes because of all the brush and the scattering of the rocks, but in some ways they're easy to pick out. I also am going to include the carved rocks scattered along Dogtown. These rocks were carved in the 1930s with inspirational sayings and words like "Intelligence" and "Loyalty". A glacier slid through New England thousands of years ago, and you can see the path of the glacier by the rocks it left behind. That area is called the moraine. I will include all of this in my two stories. Some of it is in Secrets and Lies.

Research brings a story to life. It makes it more real and authentic. Below are pictures of Dogtown. First, one of the cellar holes. Second, one of the carved rocks. Third, the moraine. It's a very desolate area with a history – one that won't be forgotten.






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