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Monday, October 11, 2010

High School Football

It doesn't get much better than that, does it? Okay, at least around here it doesn't. I've got two in high school and one in middle school. That's what they do on Friday nights--go to the game. I joined them this past Friday. (Well, I didn't exactly join them because they would never allow that, but I did go. I just sat really far away from them, and they pretended not to know me.) I went to watch my daughter perform with the dance team, but I also figured it would be a great research opportunity. You know, watching teens in their own element and all. Some of you will remember a similar post from last fall about the same topic. Last time, though, I went to get a feel for the atmosphere, for descriptive purposes. This time, it was all about the people. You want to know what I discovered? Teens aren't much different than when I was one of them. They, of course, didn't know anyone was watching them, but I was soooooo watching. Great fodder. Great fodder. That's all I have to say. Anyway, that's beside the point. What I'm trying to get at is the topic of research and how important it is. This past week I read a post (please forgive me because I don't remember whose it was) about watching T.V. for research. I do that on an almost daily basis. For example, I watched hours of Wizards of Waverly Place today. Yeah, sad, I know. Some days, I find myself parked on the couch watching Degrassi while my kids are at school. And don't forget about Vampire Diaries. So much great research material out there. Besides T.V., there's also Google Earth. This is one of my favorite research tools. I've heard it said that you should write what you know, but really, I can pretty much know any place like the back of my hand if I take a stroll down Main Street with Google Earth. I've been known to spend hours doing just that. So, call it guilty pleasure if you must, but I prefer to call it Research. What about you? What fun methods of research do you practice?

18 comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

Ooo such a good post! Aww your daughter is on the dance team? That's so cool, I used to be a cheerleader way back when. It's alot of fun these football games.

Yup! I've heard writing what you know is the best policy! I'm writing about zombies which at first I was like Oh great how do I do this? Then I noticed people stumbling out of bars & walking on those high high-heeled shoes. Bingo. Very similar indeed. =)

Have a great week!!!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I love that I discoverd a cop and a firefighter in my church. They've helped with research facts and I was thankful they were willing to take on my odd interview questions.

I agree, it's fun to get immersed in a surrounding to get the facts you need.
~ Wendy

Solvang Sherrie said...

I LOVE Google Earth! In fact, I love that you can type in any random phrase or question and Google will spit out a list of responses. I don't know how people researched the hard stuff before the internet existed.

paulgreci said...

Fifteen years in the classroom and five years working as a naturalist in an outdoor ed. program all can be categorized under research even if I didn't know I was doing it as research.

More recently, I tried to light a space blanket on fire as part of my research. It melted instead of burning, which was good to know for the story I was writing.

Carolyn V. said...

I have teens and pre-teens. Being around them really helps my wip. Plus I totally agree with Google...it totally helps. =D

Diane said...

I hang out with kids, little kids. I guess I'm a big kid at heart too, so that helps. :O)

lotusgirl said...

I love watching while I chaperone at dances and things. I also do a fair amount of "researching" on TV with my kids sometimes intentionally, other times under duress.

T. Anne said...

OOh Friday nights at the game are F-U-N!!!! And yes, I'd get completely sucked into their world too! My research? Just about everything. =)

Danyelle said...

Definitely research! ;-) I watch Wizards as well when I want to get that teenager feeling. Movies and shows help, I think, because we can see their mannerisms as well as what they're saying. My other favorite method of researching is visiting Barnes and Noble and liberating a few books from the shelves. O:)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Ooooh, Google Earth. I totally forgot about that! I'm definitely going to have to remember that for the future. I don't have any specific research methods besides visiting places I'm writing about. But it is fun to watch people in different settings sometimes. It gives you great insight into character--and characteristics.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I watch Wizards too. But NOT for research. LOL!!!
I have rented quite a few romantic comedy movies all in the name of research though. :)

Amy Tate said...

I LOVE being around the kids, they crack me up! You're right, things haven't changed all that much. My favorite research place is the mall. I love walking behind a group of kids and listening to them talk and laugh. Sometimes I don't have a clue about what they're talking about, but they entertain me all the same, lol!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Airports! I love watching people in airports!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Blogging of course. Great research. And reading. I need to download Google Earth.

Laura Pauling said...

Even the new google maps is great. I could zoom in any building I wanted to in the city I was researching. I could get names of businesses, see what the buildings looked like, find the names of schools....research is endless.

Terri Tiffany said...

Did you get a new header? I like it alot! Anyways, back to research, I do a lot with watching people wherever I am. I also will do some basice Internet searching but most of my work is about what I know.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great post! You might have read my post - I blogged about watching TV for research last week here:

http://ishtamercurio.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-heart-thursdays.html

As far as other research goes, going to a high school football game is a great idea! Going to movies is another one - you get to see teens in a social setting. The mall is another good place to people watch, and so is a trendy cafe. Or how about going to the type of store that your characters would go to? A record store, for example?

Name: Holly Bowne said...

I LOVE Google Maps as well--isn't the Internet amazing! Another favorite of mine is YouTube. You can see locations and get a sense of the sights, sounds and even the smells of certain places if you're lucky enough to find them on YouTube.