It's been weeks, but I slowly seem to be returning to research mode and gathering information for my original fiction project. As unlikely as it might seem, the impetus I needed came from a wonderful DVD called The Search for Sherlock Holmes. Throughout the various interviews conducted by David Hayman (who you might remember from Hope and Glory), the idea of the nineteenth century being a kind of new literary frontier kept cropping up. Not only were more people reading fiction, but writers were exploring exciting and innovative topics. I was struck in particular by what Stephen Fry had to say about the paranormal and the way in which writers, such as Oscar Wilde (in The Picture of Dorian Gray) were utilizing the subject in their work. It made me think of my own paranormal concept and I was suddenly enthusiastic again about researching and developing my idea.
Okay, I'll admit that I got off to a slow start. Other than doing a tiny bit of reading last night, I only managed to pick a surname for one of the main characters. I've known what his Christian name would be for ages because I'm naming him after my maternal grandfather, but I hadn't done any name research beyond that. Today has been better, though I'm starting to suffer from brain melt because I've been trying to understand the science behind such things as Tesla coils and Van de Graaff generators -- and how I might be able to apply similar technology to the crazy experiment I've envisioned.
This kind of research might seem like an excuse for not writing (and maybe it is), but until I get some of these details fixed in my mind I won't be able to write. For example, if I don't find the experiment at least semi-plausible, I really can't expect anyone else to either and, so, I'd rather keep researching and brainstorming for the time being. It will all come together eventually -- one way or another.