Reading, watching, and more research #whatimwriting

Sunset I’m still in the ‘research between drafts’ phase of writing, and over the last week I’ve been mainly reading, with a bit of watching! I’m reading Taken on Trust by Terry Waite, an articulate and in-depth account of his six years as a hostage. I have a list of other books about hostages, but this one seems to come up to the top of the pile every time. This account of almost three years as a hostage by Michael Scott Moore has also been useful, and probably closer to what I’m writing about than Waite’s experience, although perhaps the human psychology of captivity doesn’t vary with geography. I’d be interested to know if journalist Moore is writing a book of his own experiences.

MangrovesI watched the film, Beasts of No Nation  based on the book by Uzodinma Iweala , the first Netflix original movie which was released in cinemas last Autumn. I’ve been reading about the film, getting mixed views on how well it covers the child soldier experience, but I watched it for information about the West African region. I think I may get the book to see how much more I can learn as so often much is lost when a book becomes a film. I’m interested in any other recommendations for books and films about West Africa, as it’s a while since I’ve been there … I did get out more photos (see above and left) to browse through, though, for more reminders and inspiration.


So, I’ve written a few hundred words of notes based on what I’ve watched and read, and I’ve listed some more of the scenes in the first draft, assessing them for whether they move the story on and how. I have a list of books about hostages which I’ll look for once I’m a bit further through Terry Waite. Work permitting, Thursday and Friday I’m mainly going to be reading! I’m making up for the lack of writing by writing blog posts  … last weekend I saw a great exhibition which I’ve reviewed. Still itching to start on the second draft, but I know I’m not there yet.

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10 thoughts on “Reading, watching, and more research #whatimwriting

  1. Gosh, I think I remember reading that Terry Waite book years ago, but I had completely forgotten it. It sounds as though you are finding lots of inspirational sources for your research, finger crossed with the time to do the reading. x #WhatImWriting

    • Thanks for stopping and commenting Alice. The trouble is that everything … Work, life, kids … seems to come first before research!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I research quite a bit at first but stopping midway to research doesn’t help me get the story out! Completing the first draft has helped me see where there are gaps in my knowledge and in the depth of what I can write about without more reading.

  2. Your research sounds really interesting! I’m not surprised you’re itching to write but by the time you’re ready to go you’ll be off like a shot! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

  3. The research is such a big part of a book. I have watched Ross many a time when he has been doing this and it is so interesting and from what I have seen an enjoyable part. I find when I am doing anything like this that the learning and knowledge is such a great part of the process. #WhatIAmWriting

  4. Sounds like a fascinating area to be researching. The novel I’ve just started writing is the furthest from my own experience I’ve attempted yet, and I’m finding it hard to get the balance between research and getting the story out! I’ve decided to jump in, but I have no doubt I’ll be spending some time immersing myself in more research once I get a first draft done… xx

    • Thanks Sophie. I did basic research as I went, as much as I could without stopping the flow of the story. It’s interesting to get into things more deeply now.

  5. Pingback: What I’m reading, watching, writing #whatimwriting | 38to39
  6. Pingback: Sightlessness is another country (WIP) | 38to39

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