Suffer For the Sake of Research

I did some hands-on research for one of my children’s books. I think it’s easier to demonstrate it in a videoclip. I guess technically this is a vlog on my blog.

Click here if you have sound (to see the full demonstration):

If you don’t have sound, here’s a quick rundown of what’s in the video, minus some seriously important details:
Step 1:  To get the full sensory effects my 10-year-old character experiences, first I had to tease my hair. Nah-nah-nah–nah nah nah!
Step 2:  To build a bouffant, I needed a base. This was accomplished by using many ponytail holders, one on top of the other, to get the middle chunk of hair to stick straight up.
Step 3:  My base trunk of hair needed reinforcement. You can see it’s starting to flop to one side. I found a big old honkin’ curler. The hair stuck to it when I pulled it up. Worked great!
Step 4:  Hairspray. Tons of spray. Get a good whiff of the fumes. Smell is an important sensory detail to include in your writing. Cough, cough. Warning: Research can be nauseating. Take notes of your results. Gotta touch it. Describe it. 

How’s it feel? Like someone dumped a can of flea powder on my scalp, that’s how.  
Sometimes we’ve gotta suffer in the name of research.
What have you done in the name of research?


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27 Responses to Suffer For the Sake of Research

  1. Wow. Now that's dedication.

  2. Ok, now that's funny. I did lots of research for NP, but never had to do anything quite like this. You crack me up! Great job on the video. You'll have to teach me.

  3. LOL! I respect your dedication.

  4. LynNerd says:

    Haha! Thanks, you guys. It was itchy and stinky and tiring, but I had a lot of fun, and so did my husband videoing me. I just wish the audio was louder. I'm still learning!

  5. nutschell says:

    great post Lynn! love the pictures!I've given you a BLOG AWARD. Feel free to drop by anytime to pick it up. Just a little something to brighten up your day. :)warm regards,

  6. Uh-oh. Hopefully this doesn't mean I need to become a vampire or anything… LOL! I've pretended to be house hunting in certain areas to do some geographical research. I guess that's the oddest thing, though I'm probably forgetting/blocking things out.

  7. Misha says:

    Lol I'm glad my book can't be researched. Sometimes, though, I act out certain scenes and choreograph fights so that I can see if it works. If it's not right in real life, I can't fix it in my book. 🙂

  8. Helen Ginger says:

    That was funny. I realize it probably wasn't funny for you, but to those of us watching, it was funny. I've done nothing near that as research.

  9. I've never had big hair for the sake of research but I was a teen in the 1980s.Love the pictures! What have I done in the name of research? I've looked up eye implants, interviewed a police officer, and read a book on Wicca.

  10. LynNerd says:

    Nutschell – Thank you for the award! I'm honored.Lisa – I can see how researching vampire details would be difficult, even gory! The house hunting in the name of research is a great idea! Now, that's dedication.Misha – Yes, acting out certain scenes really is helpful. I do that, too.. It's so helpful in describing the movements.Hi Helen – I'm glad you thought it was funny. I had fun doing it and wanted to make it fun for others. The research really paid off for me in getting all the sensory details! The things we do for the sake of our writing!Theresa – That's cool that you were a teen in the '80s and probably were a pro at big hair! Your research subjects sound quite interesting. That's admirable.I love hearing everyone's comments, especially about your different research. You guys should do a post about it if you haven't yet. And I'm sorry that some people are having trouble leaving comments. That's a bummer.

  11. Wub2Write says:

    Now, that's real hair stylin'! Have you thought of going to beauty school? You can start up your own salon–Lynnerd's Haunted Hair Salon! Oh, bee-hive, ghouls! LOL!I remember my sisters teasing their hair high before dates. Our bathroom was a spooky white fog of Aqua Net. *cough! cough!*Thanks for the Aqua-laughs! 🙂

  12. LynNerd says:

    Hahahahaha! Maria, I can always count on your for a good laugh! Thanks.

  13. LynNerd says:

    I love everyone's comments, so when I heard from a couple friends that they weren't able to leave a comment, I wondered how many others have had trouble, too. My writer friend, Tommy, emailed me the following message:I love that, it's so cute! The pictures are great. I'm just so impressed by how much you're learning to do, with the blog and the vlog, etc. Very cool, Lynn! The video was totally funny, too, especially the part with the fork. 😉 *Tommy* P.S.- I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it told me there was an error because my connection doesn't allow cookies, but then I couldn't figure out how to allow cookies. And now I really really want a chocolate chip cookie.Thanks for taking the time to email me, Tommy, and a chocolate chip cookie sounds scrumptious right now!

  14. Bob Sanchez says:

    Hey Lynn,I like your demo and your bravery in offering it to your fan base.You have a good sense of humor.

  15. Judy Croome says:

    Ahahahahahahahaha! Lyn, this was such a terrific post. I'm not sure I could show the same dedication to researching my novels as you have! This was so funny!!Judy, South Africa

  16. Talei says:

    Haha! Fantastic research, Lyn! Go you! I can't think of a time when teasing my hair into a bouffant didn't hurt! Happy weekend! 🙂

  17. Now that is serious research! 🙂

  18. Bish Denham says:

    Snort! The only time I ever did the fancy hair-do thing was for a prom I went to. OMG! My hair was like a concrete helmet. Never, ever again, have I put myself through the torture getting all the knots out of frozen curl.

  19. LynNerd says:

    Bob – Thanks so much. That's quite a compliment, coming from an expert at humor.Judy – Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Everyone does research in their own way. I love hearing different people's experiences.Talei – Those bouffants are somethin' else, and the worst part is combing out the tangles after washing out the hairspray!Golden Eagle – Thanks! Serious research explained in a very non-serious way!Bish – I can't believe all the horrible hair stories people have shared with me. Your descriptions are great. Unfortunately, we have to experience it to be able to describe it well!

  20. I love it! My office mates thought I was a little strange when I printed and hung up street maps of a few Manhattan neighborhoods on my wall and added pictures from Google Earth so I could figure out a few key scenes in my WiP. And I have on multiple occasions enlisted my husband to block out scenes involving romance-y stuff, because I hate reading a love scene and being distracted by wondering "how did her arm get over there?"

  21. LynNerd says:

    Hi Lynn. So glad you stopped by. I love your research methods, especially how you have your husband work out romance-y scenes! I guess non-writers think we're odd with all the strange things we do to bring our books to life. What's neat is that each writer goes about it in their own, unique way. Pretty cool.

  22. hahaha Are you saying research can be amusing as well as hair-raising? 😉

  23. OMG, you are awesome! That is dedication :)Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  24. LynNerd says:

    Lynda – Yes, research can definitely be fun and amusing. And hair-raising, too! LOL!Thanks, Angela. I'm glad you got a kick out of this!

  25. LOL! That's awesome! Obviously I need to suffer more for my research. 🙂

  26. Wow! That's really hair-raising.

  27. LynNerd says:

    Susan – Thanks. It's okay to suffer for research, but be sure to have fun, too!Hi Royce – Yes, and all that hair spray raised a big stink! Haha!

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