Research Needed for a Short Story

One of the less fun aspects of writing fiction is research.  The amount that needs to be done depends on what you are writing because some stories necessitate more than others.  It makes for a more authentic story.  This is a list of the research I ended up doing for my 6,000 word story about a man that kills himself.  I don’t want to mention the name of the story because I’m going to submit it to literary magazines in August.  I probably used like 5-10% of the info that I read about.  If you try to cram in too much technical stuff the story sounds forced.

By far the worst scene of the whole story was the car crash.  I hated writing it.  Action scenes are hard to write, and this one was intense.  How do you convey the horror of getting in a car crash and watching your girlfriend die in a fiery cage of twisted steel?!  Ugh.  I gave it my best shot XD  I have a few weeks to distance myself before I submit so I may come back and revise that part.  My favorite scene was probably the intro where he shoots himself.  I guess that sounds morbid XD  I mean I enjoyed writing it.  Perhaps because I have been on the brink of suicide before so it was cathartic to write about it.

List of Research Topics 

1. Pictures of compound fractures (The pictures gave me nightmares D:)

2. Accounts from people surviving near death experiences

3. Accounts from car crash survivors

4. The taste of different vodkas

5. Guns, what they look like and how to shoot one

6. How long can someone survive after a bullet wound to the chest

7. Videos of car crashes (I hated this.  It was awful)

8. Videos of drunk driving

9. Treatment for a gunshot wound

10. What year the Seattle Seahawks were playing the Superbowl (random I know XD)

11. Jail time for manslaughter due to drunk driving (I ended up not using this info)

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4 thoughts on “Research Needed for a Short Story

  1. Wow, you researched so much! Although it was a pain, I bet it helped you understand your own story better, too. Best of luck on the submission. 🙂 I’m sure what you wrote is great and I hope the magazine publishes it! Research is actually one of my favorite parts because I learn so much of what I didn’t know about. I bet it was interesting to hear from car crash survivors, for instance. I can see why you got nightmares when researching the rest, though! 🙂

    • Some of the research was fun, like the taste of vodka XD I hate gore so watching the car crashes was hard for me :$ I think the car crash scene is still the roughest part of the whole story because it was added in like the 6th draft and heavily revised in the 7th. I sent you a copy of the story actually. It’s okay if you don’t want to read it or don’t have the time :$ I’m looking mostly for general feedback, and if something really doesn’t work. It’s just under 6,000 words and I don’t want it to go over so if I add something I have to take something out.

      It’s okay if no one wants to publish it XD Publishing was never the end point for me. I’d be so happy if someone did, but I’m mentally prepared for rejection. It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all. I’ve grown a lot as a writer through this experience, and that has been the most important part 🙂 Thanks again for your comment!

    • That reminds me of Watership Down 😀 I read part of a short story by Murakami, and it was about an old man that talked to cats, so in the story the cats were talking. It was so cute :3 I have a short story planned where one of the major protagonists is a cat. I’ve lived with cats for so many years I don’t have to research it XD Thanks for sharing 🙂

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