Research Part 4-- Prove Facts Wrong

I studied the labels on old medicine bottles
and ended up using one in one of
my books. It was hilarious!
"Heals wounds on man or beast." Hahaha
Yeah, I plan to prove that one right!
I haven't done a research post in awhile and I felt it would be fun. We've gathered facts HERE. We've proven them right HERE. We've organised them HERE. Now it's time to PROVE THEM WRONG!
Yeah, you read me right.

By proving the facts wrong, you will deepen your knowledge on the subject which in turn will set your imagination free, you will deepen your characters, which will give them a new life, and you will enrich your plot.


PROVING A FACT WRONG WILL DEEPEN A CHARACTER
- OR AT THE VERY LEAST GIVE HIM A REASON TO LIVE
So in your research, you come across a letter written by a priest. This letter is blatant discrimination against an entire race. This priest is going to be your new bad guy. Why not? He's perfect for your theme.

In earlier posts I mentioned proving things three times. So... it might be a good idea to prove three more times that he is the jerk you believe. Really, anything else you dig up on him will simply deepen his character, right?
What if digging deeper proves...
that he was trying to save them from a horrible death? Huh?
Wait, all by itself the letter really does make him look like a jerk, but it turns out that when you dig a little deeper, it's one of ten letters. Oh. The other letters tell the tale of his journey and his mission. Really, he's still a jerk in your mind, but in his mind, he was a hero on a mission and the letters explain why he feels this way.  His character deepens. Your opinion of him no longer matters. He is a bad guy with a vision, a reason, a mission full of passion. You have to allow him to tell his side of the story.
Can you feel the magic?

I still haven't figured out how to
blow this distiller up.
But it must happen.
PROVING A FACT WRONG WILL DEEPEN YOUR PLOT
Prohibition is a fact that is easy to prove three times. There was no booze being sold, bought, made or distributed. Yeah right. Digging to prove this wrong will bring up all kinds of bootlegging. Now, proving that bootlegging was going on is a little harder. But each time I prove it, my plot deepens. I find new ways for people to get their hands on booze, new characters that excite me. I find myself in tunnels, on trains, in a gang war! Or, just blowing up illegal distillers.

PROVING A FACT WRONG WILL IGNITE YOUR CREATIVE JUICES
I desperately tried to find something exciting that happened in Saskatchewan 1917.
Can you smell the history?
 Why? Because what really happened is boring. I needed to prove these facts wrong. I never did. BUT! My research did give me a good feel of the anger and desperation the farmers were feeling in this time. They could have protested grain prices. They had reason to, they were organized, they were pissed off enough to do it... I never found proof that they did, yet...

I write fantasies, right? You see where I'm going with this, right?

*I can get creative.
Thanks to my research, I have it all set up. And so the riots in Saskatchewan begin. I'm going to rewrite history and it's going to be nasty. If I have the rail line cover it all up afterwards, well, that'll explain why I never found proof...

Now this is my example, but really, what if you prove that those scientists cloning sheep are cloning a few other things? Oooo... I feel a sci-fi or a horror story coming on.

My point is that if you LOOK for the opposite of what the facts prove, you might be surprised at what you turn up. There's a magic in that. No?


*Of course, this rule only applies to fiction.


So... prove any facts wrong lately? It's fun!



Other research posts:
http://tanyareimer.blogspot.com/2011/02/research-part-1-use-all-tools.html
http://tanyareimer.blogspot.com/2011/03/research-part-2-know-what-to-look-for.html
http://tanyareimer.blogspot.com/2011/05/research-part-3-get-organized.html

14 comments:

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Tanya - Thanks for the great post; I have never taken that approach to character development, I will definitely do that on my WIP!

Vicki Tremper said...

Great post! What a great way to think about it - to try proving things wrong. You'd come up with so many more details, too, and you never know where that will lead.

Ciara said...

This is a thought provoking post. I think you are on to something. The new way to develop unique twists on old tales. Great job!

Richard said...

The more you know, the more you can invent. Good take on research. It's great when there are real events to use, but when there are none...well that's another way to use your imagination--make them up.
You are good at doing both.

Good post.

Samantha Sotto said...

Brilliant!!! Bookmarking this one. I think this is just what the doctored ordered for the plot I'm wrestling with :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

This was fascinating! I love your approach to research! Now I want to go out and research something.

Misha Gericke said...

Hehehe that's actually such a good post. At this stage, most of my history falls in the how was it/wasn't it category. :-)

Margo Berendsen said...

Ah what a clever way to coax out new ideas! not to mention deepen characters. I'm bookmarking this one!

Valentina Hepburn said...

Hey, Tanya, a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

Samantha Sotto said...

Hi, Tanya! Stopping by to drop off some warm bread pudding and even warmer thoughts. Happy holidays! :)

Arlee Bird said...

Interesting way to look at this topic. I've always dug for some details when I've written something based on reality, but never thought to disprove anything that I can recall.

Happy holidays!

Lee
Wrote By Rote

Lee

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Hi Tanya, this was such a cool post. I like the whole idea (ideas) you posited and I liked your writing as well. So interestingly said!

BTW, I left an award for you on my blog. Stop by and pick it up (and pass it on.)

Norma Beishir said...

This is excellent! I'm going to post the link to my Facebook writers group....

momto8 said...

hmm..intereting for sure! i am learning something new everyday! I am your newest follower.