The Strangeness of Research

I’m usually pretty good at inspiring myself when it comes to writing new things.  I’ll scour favourite sites for articles, pictures or stories that are interesting to me.  Some, such as Stumbleupon, will link me to wonderful posts or pictures that immediately bring stories or poems that flow straight onto the page.  Twitter is always a personal favourite, not only because I follow several newspapers and magazines, but the other authors on there often link to fun and interesting material that can spark an idea.

My latest piece of inspiration came from, of all sites, Facebook.  One friend posted a link on another friend’s page which intrigued me.  It was titled The Dystopian Timeline to The Hunger Games. Now I am a huge Hunger Games fan so immediately headed over to the page.  And it was not quite what I expected.  On this page it charted the rise of the distopian novel through the last century and what trends followed its rise and fall.

I have always loved distopian novels and so this was fascinating to me.  But I absolutely did not expect to get a story idea out of it.  However, at the bottom of the page was one little paragraph that made me think.  It asked what the next trend would be in distopian novels.  Which made me wonder, what would it be?  Would it be robots?  Maybe robots and humans mixing in society.  Maybe humans using robotics to improve our bodies and minds.  But what complications would arise from that?  When does a person stop being a human and become a robot?

So I scribbled some ideas down and started building a new world in which humans use manufactured organs rather than donated human ones and the complications that arise from that.  I don’t want to give too much away but organ donation plays a major part in it.  Which led me to do some reading about organ transplants and donation.  Which in turn led to this…

black market

I do wonder what would happen if anyone ever looked through my internet history.  I worry that people may look at my download folder and fear what sort of things I do in my spare time.  Sometimes I worry about myself when I see my bookmarks and pictures like the one above.  I’m glad my boyfriend understands I’m a writer.

Do you have any strange downloads from novel research?  What’s the weirdest thing on your hard drive?



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