On writing Writing process

Novel progress report: forgotten research

I was reading through our research notes for Barrain earlier today.

Some people say you do not need to research fantasy novels. Others say you need to research thoroughly before you can write.

We research some things. For Barrain we researched a little forensic science and some police procedures. After all, we have a body that has been dead for some time. We need to know what the corpse would be like. Also, given that it’s fantasy, we need to know where we are going to deviate from the standard dead body. Not only that, we need to know what the police will do and how they will do it.

Barrain is set in Australia. There is no reason for this, except that we are Australian. Here is the local police information about forensic science.

Here’s a summary of what they say about forensic investigation in Victoria.

The duties as shown on CSI are a combination of three different positions as performed in Victoria … A detective … is really the investigator in a case. The detective will … process the scene by taking notes and photographs and then collecting any items for analysis and submitting them to the Forensic Services Department. [Detectives also call out the crime scene examiner if required.] … The forensic scientists are specialists, not experts in every field, i.e. there are separate specialists for flammable liquid residues, DNA, Drug Analysis, Documents, Fingerprints, etc. … there are no jobs available in Australia like those depicted on CSI. It shows a combination of duties performed by Crime Scene investigators, Forensic Scientists, detectives and others.

Victoria Police, Forensic Science

We checked on this months ago, and have it in our research file.

Yet what did we do when we wrote the forensic science portion of Barrain? We forgot this, and made it more like something out of CSI than something our local police would have done.

I think we watch too much television.

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