Book Research – how far would you go?

In the name of research for my novel The Dare club, I have just booked to go to Go Ape to do their Tree Top Challenge in a couple of weeks time. Now I’m not scared of heights, but I’m not exactly the muscle-bound fitness freak type of person either. My exercise is generally restricted to taking the dog out between bouts of typing at my my desk. And it’s not that I haven’t got a good imagination, because I think I have – my stint at the comedy club kind of proved that for me. I don’t know where half that stuff came from! But… I’m not sure how well I could write about the challenge of hurtling through the air high up in the treetops on a Tarzan swing unless I’d done it.

OK, so my characters could dare each other to knit the world’s longest scarf, but it doesn’t pack the same kind of punch, does it? I wanted to have a go at abseiling  and I might yet. But the only opportunity I could find in the next few weeks was a sponsored challenge to abseil down a 150 metre tower in Norwich, and as I’ve never done it before, that seemed a little too much. I mean, I’m not mad.

Or am I? I’ll let you know!

What lengths have you gone to in the name of research? I’d love to know.




5 thoughts on “Book Research – how far would you go?

  1. Margaret, I would go and do that even if it weren’t for research! At least ask the sponsors of the event if a beginner can expect success. If it were me, I’d get very busy lifting dumbbells and strengthening my upper body. Not the 5 pounders, either! I hope you are able to do this and tell us all about it. Stay safe. What have I done? If I dare count it, I’ve fallen in love with way too many unsuitable men and thus filled the bill for research for heartbreak. I’ve climbed cliffs without a rope. I’ve sailed in a rubber dingy in rough ocean. Unintentionally, I fell into a hole and learned what two broken ankles feel like. Can’t wait to see what others tell about! Pat McA

    Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 13:43:28 +0000 To:

  2. I’ve often thought of what a wonderful opportunity writing gives us to discover new activities, but so far my writing is all related to my work and general living experiences. One day, maybe I’ll think outside the box and come up with a novel that prompts me to do bizarre things like The Dare Club is doing for you. It’s a great idea.
    As for abseiling, I think it’s easy as long as it’s not too high, The Go Ape challenge sounds like fun, I hope I’m right. I look forward to reading about it in The Dare Club.

  3. Juli – you’ve been to an unbelievable amount of countries! I know you didn’t do it for the purposes of research, but what an amazing amount of knowledge and experiences you’ve acquired along the way! You’ll definitely use them, won’t you? 🙂

  4. I’m not sure, Margaret. I’ve tried writing stories set in the countries I’ve lived in, or stayed in for an extended time, but don’t feel comfortable doing it. I wonder if that will change when I’m living in Australia again. I admire people like Ann Warner, who generally sets her stories in two places, often different countries.

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