5 things Googled this week in the name of writing

Writers research the strangest things. If you delve into our search histories, you’d think we are planning a homicide or dabbling in the occult. Extensive research on Russian history and folklore is how YA fantasy author Leigh Bardugo managed to create the entire Grishaverse, and how Gillian Flynn could plot intricate novels like Gone Girl and Dark Places.

Historical and crime novels are possibly the most difficult genres to write, at least for me. Even contemporary and magical realism are hard enough without all that world building and fact checking coming into play.

For the next work-in-progress, these are some things I’ve been reading up on:

1. Selective amnesia

“A type of amnesia in which the victim loses certain parts of his/her memory. Common elements that may be forgotten: relationships, special talents (e.g. juggling, whistling, instrumental talents, etc.), where he/she lives, abilities in certain areas (e.g. a new gymnast forgetting she cannot cartwheel yet), and events such as concerts, shows, or traumatic events (e.g. a death/suicide of a loved one or attempt on one’s own life).”

 

2. Memory implantation

“A technique used in cognitive psychology to investigate human memory. In memory implantation studies researchers make people believe that they remember an event that actually never happened.”

 

3. Draconids meteor shower

“One of the two meteor showers to annually grace the skies in October. The Draconids owe their name to the constellation Draco the Dragon, and are created when the Earth passes through the dust debris left by comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner. The comet takes about 6.6 years to make a single revolution around the Sun.

“Unlike most meteor showers, the Draconids are best seen in the evening, instead of before dawn. That’s because the winged Dragon, the shower’s radiant point, flies highest in the sky at nightfall.”

 

4. False memory syndrome

“The psychological phenomenon in which a person recalls a memory that did not actually occur. FMS describes a condition in which a person’s identity and relationships are affected by memories that are factually incorrect but that they strongly believe.”

“We all have inaccurate memories. Rather, the syndrome is diagnosed when the memory is so deeply ingrained that it orients the individual’s entire personality and lifestyle — disrupting other adaptive behavior. False memory syndrome is destructive because the person assiduously avoids confronting evidence that challenges the memory. Thus it takes on a life of its own; the memory becomes encapsulated and resistant to correction. Subjects may focus so strongly on the memory that it effectively distracts them from coping with real problems in their life.”

WOW. Book material right there. Disturbed protagonist, anyone?

 

5. Motivated forgetting

“A theorized psychological behavior in which people may forget unwanted memories, either consciously or unconsciously. It is not a defence mechanism, since these are unconscious coping techniques used to reduce anxiety … There are two main classes of motivated forgetting: psychological repression is an unconscious act, while thought suppression a conscious form of excluding thoughts and memories from awareness.”

I’ve Googled weirder things. Just saying. But hey,

My fingers are all tingly now from all the ideas buzzing around in me, so off to write I shall go! Happy weekend! :0)

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