Category Archives: Research Tips

Questions 574: Studying Big Stories

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Michael asks: “How do you study a work that’s epic in scope?”

Resources Mentioned:
Natchez Burning, The Bone Tree, and Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
Fall of Giants, Book 1 of The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett
Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues
The Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Roots by Alex Haley
Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune by Frank Herbert
Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Odyssey by Homer
The Illiad by Homer
Book of Genesis, beginning with chapter 12
I, Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves
The 12 Caesars by Suetonius
Every Day Novelist: In the beginning…
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Questions 570: Medical Apocalypse

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Jeanne asks: “What about a medical apocalypse? Either as the cause or effect of the collapse of civilization?”

Resources Mentioned
1491 by Charles C. Mann
Earth Abides by George Stewart
The Stand by Stephen King
The Walking Dead (TV and comic series)
Resident Evil film series
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Omega Man (film)
The Last Man on Earth (film)
I am Legend (film)
28 Days Later
The Last Man by Mary Shelley
The Scarlet Plague by Jack London
World War Z by Max Brooks
Jeremiah TV series
12 Monkeys
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Questions 567: Research and Worldview Shifts

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Jeanne asks: “Do you have any examples of people changing their minds because of their writing?”

Resources Mentioned
Question 556: Avoiding Being Preachy or Dated
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams
Is There an Artificial God, speech by Douglas Adams
State of Fear by Michael Crichton

Questions 550: The Tech Before The Fall

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Ed asks: Would the level of technology before an apocalypse affect the aftermath? In what ways?

Resources Mentioned
Mad Max (film)
The Science of Gassification lecture, Jim Mason of All Power Labs
Jericho: TV series and comic books
Jeremiah TV series and comics

Questions 511: The Forgotten Mid-Apocalypse

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Robert asks: With so many post-apocalyptic stories out there, why are there so few about the collapse of civilizations?

Resources Mentioned:
A Boy and His Dog, by Harlan Ellison
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Farnham’s Freehold, by Robert A. Heinlein
The Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
Aztec by Gary Jennings
Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead
Mad Max
The Quiet Earth
Prey by Michael Crichton
1491 by Charles C. Mann

Questions 433: Podcast Recs and the Future of Publishing

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Melissa asks: Where do you think the indie publishing industry is going in the next 5-10 years? And what are your favorite podcasts?

Resources Mentioned:

Podcasts
Stackpole The Secrets
Writing Excuses
You Should Be Writing
LibriVox
Decoder Ring Theater
Lowell’s Morning Walk
NPR’s Planet Money
NPR’s Freakanomics
NPR’s Marketplace
EconTalk
Creative Futurism
Geopolitical Futures
Bible Geek
Lovecraft Geek
Waking Up
Hardcore History
Common Sense
Benzinga Strategies
Peter Diamandis’ Exponential Wisdom

YouTube Channels
UT Liberal Arts
Naval War College
WGBH Forum
Yale Courses
Center For Fiction

Questions 416: Rhetorical Devices

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Ian asks: “Would studying rhetoric help with pacing and craft in fiction?”

Resources Mentioned:

Aristotle
The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays (CS Lewis)
Monsters and Critics and Other Essays (JRR Tolkien)
Shakespeare
John Milton
Edward Allen Poe
Raymond Chandler
Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. A Treatise of Human Nature, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
The Portable Nietzsche
Book of Proverbs
John Steinbeck
John D McDonald
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Blake
Percy Blythe Shelley
Mary Shelley
Lord Byron
Mary Wollstonecraft
Essays of EB White
Mark Twain Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches and Essays
Cicero: Selected Works
Speeches That Changed The World
Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History
Martin Luther King, Jr.