The Joys and Pain of Researching…#writershelpingwriters


I’m beginning to really fall in love with my short story collection (tentatively titled “Willow Moon: and other stories”). Although I am not as close to completion as I would like to, the stories are coming along nicely. I love the horror aspect of it and it feels great to stretch those writing muscles which haven’t been used in a while. I actually forgot how much I love building tension and terror…and how much I love the characterization in short stories.

It’s funny how something like this can start out as a small project and grow into something that means so much to the author. It began as a collection of horror stories, based on the Celtic properties of each month’s full moon. Throughout it, I have put my own spin on the spirits and monsters of mythology from various cultures. Although the main focus is building horror and creating stories that are terrifying, I am able to bring the theme of the collection as a whole to life. The overarching theme of the collection is quickly becoming “Dark Places”. Perhaps this would be a better name for the collection? It is something I will have to consider.

Anyway, I’m digressing too much here. This post is about research. I am not an author who shies away from research. In fact, I quite enjoy it. My brain aches for knowledge and researching for a novel or story fulfills this ache. Still, with this collection, I am pulling from a lot of different sources. Although the basic characterization of each story comes from the Celtic Lunar Calendar, I am not limiting myself to Celtic characters.

I just finished a story rooted in Lakota mythology and started one based on Catholic culture. I found the research on the Lakota culture easy. Trying to find a list of demons acknowledged by the Catholic Church? Not so easy. I mean, I can easily find talk within the Catholic Church about demons in general. What I’m looking for is more specific…more directed. I am, perhaps, too meticulous in sticking with the themes of each story so using generalities doesn’t really work well.

I guess my hope in writing this is that an expert in demon exorcism will read it…or at least someone who has experience with researching the Catholic church…I’m just looking for a point  in the right direction or some kind words about the joys and pain of researching.


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