Monday, April 8, 2013

Blog Chain - How Do You Feel About Non-Fiction

This round's topic was chosen by the lovely Sandra who wants to know:

We all know it's important to read fiction if you want to write fiction, but what about reading non-fiction? How much non-fiction do you read? What kinds of non-fiction books do you read, and why? Has reading non-fiction influenced your fiction writing style?

I read a LOT of non-fiction. Biographies mostly. Most specifically, biographies of historical figures (mostly women). I've always been fascinated with the whole royalty scene, queens in particular. Maybe because historically women are seen as a little less capable of ruling than men (and most of the women who have made history have disproved that in spades. What's that saying? Well behaved women rarely make history? So true). :D

Some of my favorites: Eleanor of Acquitaine (this woman ROCKS), Catherine the Great, Lucrezia Borgia, Isabella of France, the wives of Henry VII (and his sisters), Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette - to name a few :)

I'm also fond of reading encyclopedias. Researching has always been a bit of a time suck for me because I'll start looking up info on one subject and will find myself sucked into a million other fascinating facts. Back in the old days ;) BG (before Google) when we had to open an actual book to research things, I'd sit down with an encyclopedia and a few hours later realize I'd read through half the volume and still hadn't gotten the info I'd originally looked up :)

As a historical romance writer, research is still a big factor in my writing. I try very hard to make sure all the details in my stories are accurate (even in my contemporary stories, there is usually quite a bit of research to be done). I love this part of the process. But, I'll often just leave myself notes in my drafts such as [research this] - because if I take the time right then to research the details, I'd never get that first draft done. So once I'm in the revision stage I generally go through and spend some time researching (as well as researching before I even start writing, during the outline stage).

I also tend to research things I come across in my reading or tv watching or daily life - anything that strikes an interest that I want to learn more about. For instance, I had a lot of fun watching the Ancient Alien series which led to a bit of research on fun things like crop circles and weird phenomenon. :D I also have books on homeopathic medicines, crafty things, lots of How-Tos, (my hubs has an entire bookcase of cookbooks), a few memoirs, and a few other assorted NFs :)

How about you - do you read non-fiction? What sorts of things do you like to read about?

Be sure to stop by Katrina's blog to see what NF tickles her fancy, and stop by Alyson's tomorrow to see what she likes :)

And don't forget to enter my celebration giveaway! You could win a $25 gift card!!! (scroll down to next post) Entries are being taken until Saturday and the winner will be announced on Sunday the 14th!


Sandra Almazan said...

I like Eleanor of Acquitaine too, but ironically, I discovered her through fiction: A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver.

coffee + cocoa =) said...

non fiction books/novels could sometimes seem more fictional than fiction stories themselves.they are stories of real people and they are worth reading.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I have the same problem when doing research - I go to read about one thing and suddenly (usually Wikipedia links) I found myself finding out a whole bunch of other stuff!