Paul has parlayed a life long interest in Book of Mormon Archaeology and LDS Church History into his first novel, The Lost Stones.
The Synergistic Relationship Between Writing and Research…
In my novel The Lost Stones I attempted to blend a fiction story and characters with historical, archaeological, and scientific facts. Obviously, this is not a new approach to writing. Authors like Dan Brown and Michael Crichton, to name a few, have taken this approach for years and are masters of it.
When one sets out writing a book after this style, a lot of time is spent in research. I, of course, was no different. I spent hours upon hours reading old books and surfing the net. As I did so, I found that a wonderful thing happened. I had certain plot points in my head, which lead me to research certain topics. While researching these topics, whole new areas of information were discovered which got me thinking and lead to new plot points. These new plot points required more research which led to ever more ideas and so on. This was synergism at its finest. The plot fed the research and the research fed the plot.
A good example of this in my writing is the research I did regarding a place I reference on the first page of The Lost Stones. It goes as follows…
On Monday April 5, 1909, the Phoenix Gazette ran a story detailing an important archaeological discovery deep within the walls of the Grand Canyon. The article described how a group of scientist from the Smithsonian Institute examined the site and found artifacts that challenged conventional notions of the pre-Columbian colonization of the new world. The author of the article stated, “If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved.” To this day, the Smithsonian officially denies it ever happened.
These are the first words of The Lost Stones I wrote. I was so intrigued by this story that I knew I wanted it to be a big part of my book. The trouble was, I didn’t know how it was all going to fit in when I started writing. I had a good general idea of how the story was to flow when I started, but there were definitely some big holes in the plot.
As I began to research this mysterious cave in the Grand Canyon, those holes quickly began to fill in like blank spots on an explorer’s map. My vague notions regarding the story’s climax were even brought into crystal clear focus as I delved deeper into the facts I began to uncover.So much is said about “writers’ block” in bookish circles. I never really suffered from this malady because every time I hit a wall, my research broke it down. Now I realize that such extensive research is not required for every genre of book. That being said, after my experience, I would advise any author with “writers’
block” to not simply pound your head against a wall, but rather dig in and do some research.
café in Paris. However, researching the history of Parisian restaurants or famous French chefs just might. Learn as much as you can about what it is you are writing about and I firmly believe you will be surprised at where it takes you.