The scene-by-scene outline of Steel Time is 95% complete! I just have to work out the final conflict sequence of events, which I won’t be able to do until after I complete some research. I know some authors do their research after coming up with the general idea for the book, but I’m the other camp. I’d rather do a complete outline, then go back and figure out specifically what I’m going to have to look up to not sound like a total idiot.
Here’s the final list of topics that I ended up with:
- What the ruins of a city will look/smell/feel like 100 years after destruction by a massive explosion with no attempts at resettlement.
- Symptoms of a person having a seizure + best practices for how to take care of them.
- Interior setup and staffing of a history museum, specifically in 1940s America.
- Security of an exhibit hall if you are breaking out after closing.
- Typical on-site storage for various types of artifacts.
- Middle-class women’s clothing in 1940s America, including undergarments and exercise wear.
- Emerging PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) symptoms.
- Including anxiety, depression, arousal (not the sexy kind), hyperawareness, catastrophic thinking, panic attacks, etc.
- Best practices for handling someone in a full-blown anxiety attack.
- Symptoms of an abusive/controlling relationship.
- Specifically mental/emotional rather than physical.
- Best ways to disguise the fact that a vampire fed on a dead body and where to dump said body in an urban environment.
- Pregnancy timeline and typical middle-class delivery practices in 1940s America.
- What, exactly, makes up a hydrogen bomb and how does it work?
- What elements are commonly found in meteors?
Pretty crazy, huh? Some of this is going to be tough to look into emotionally, some of it is going to be fun (Smithsonian visits in my future!), and I imagine that some will be done at my local library to avoid ending up on any NSA watch lists.
If you consider yourself an expert on any of these topics, please reach out to me! Also feel free to recommend any resources.
And if you’re a writer, let us know in the comments the craziest thing that you’ve researched for a story!