Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I spent two hours today researching butterflies and dragonflies. It's only going to amount to three sentences in the manuscript but trust me, it was necessary.

I know you're all tired of hearing me whine about my daily time crunch but two hours for three sentences is hard for me to justify. This is going to continue(the whining and the research). I stuck a lot of asterisks in the body of my wip. In order for me to continue editing and rewriting, I have to figure out what those asterisks represent. They are more than just research points. They're clues to further behavior and plot points.

The word count may suffer while I clear through this process but the story will sharpen as a result.

How do you handle research?


  1. Butterflies don't bite. They don't have that kind of mouth. Neither do moths. However, deer flies can look like moths and they do bite. Also gypsy moths don't bite but they do have hair-like things that can cause allergies.

    Dragonflies are predators feeding on mosquitoes and other small insects but not usually harmful to humans. However,

    Wiki has this to say about them ...

    Dragonflies do not normally bite or sting humans (though they will bite in order to escape, if grasped by the abdomen); in fact, they are valued as a predator that helps control the populations of harmful insects, such as mosquitoes. It is because of this that dragonflies are sometimes called "mosquito hawks" in North America,

  2. I've whipped out my Pest Control Operations manual.

    Dragonflies have Incomplete metamorphosis: Egg, Naiad, Adult. The young are called naiads; all the young are adapted for living in water, and adults on land and fly - Only as adults. Are in the order Odonata. Have bristle-like inconspicuous antennae. Odonata do not contain insects for which pest control is usually requested.

    Butterflies have Complete metamorphosis: Egg, Larva, Pupa, Adult. Butterflies are in the order Lepidoptera (those have mouthparts formed into a long, coiled, tongue-like organ adapted for sucking called a proboscis).

  3. I handle research with a pair of tongs. As gingerly as possible. I get too into it.

    I remember Lawrence Block, in a book on writing, mentioned that he read several tomes on Irish history as preparation for a book he was going to write. But he loved the history more than the story he was writing, so it never got off the ground.

    On the other hand, Terry Pratchett's method involves read heaps of non-fiction that doesn't appear even remotely relevant to any WIPs.

    If it results in a better book, then you should take the time, even if it slows down the schedule. The Mary Has Spoken.

    hnahogba - battle cry of the Romany Gypsy Moth

    xwfswjd - what Pat Sajek had to try to pronounce when Vanna went on strike

  4. "read" should read "reading"
    Dang blogger.