What we do for research…
I’m not just saying this, but when I was in poly, I was envisioning some kind of museum work, especially with all the art history appreciation classes and all. Despite all that, I got pretty freaked out when I was watching stuff like The Mummy, with collapsing tombs and all that so the thought of an Archaeological Dig/ Excavation (because I have dirty friends) was not really very favourable in my head.
Until the call for volunteers came up.
Being our adventure-y quest leader, Sarah managed to hook us up with the Southeast Asian Archaeology team, who were working on-site between the City Hall building and the old Supreme Court building, which are about to be turned into The National Art Gallery of Singapore (TNAGS).
So the morning before one of our write-ins for NaNoWriMo, Sarah, Mintea, Miss Hallelujah, Raven Silvers and the self made our way to the site between City Hall building and old Supreme Court. Guy in charge Shien was there getting us to sign disclaimer forms and assigning jobs. With Sarah and Mintea already digging up stuff, Raven, Miss Halle and the self got to do sieving.
Now you may ask, what does this have to do with book bites? Answer’s pretty simple.
For most writers, material or ideas that spark their writing comes from reading other works, events that happened in their lives and their interests. But when there is a need to go into further detail to ensure that the writing doesn’t seem too ridiculous (there’s always a degree of fiction that will not make sense but that’s because it’s after all, fiction), research needs to be done.
For the Adventure Crew/ Valkyrie Knights/ Happy Smiley Writers Group, what better way to do research than do it yourself? To be honest, how accurately or fabulously can you write about historical/ archaeological fiction with information you only get while watching videos or reading?
It totally helped when Shien was showing us around, giving us a few glimpses into what they found on previous sites and how they analysed whatever that was being found. It was definitely interesting to note that where we were actually digging at where the beach was a good couple of hundred years ago or so.
And while this may serve as one of our more “aggressive” adventures, every outing we have always had something story-worthy, dependent on our moods and what we love to write. Not to mention various trinkets we end up bringing home together with the knowledge.
So would being a writer give a vision of this lone person cooped up and typing? Maybe during the crunch times, but I would certainly be a very sad writer if I wasn’t allowed to do on-site research when I want to.
P/S – Thanks to Southeast Asian Archaeology and Shien for the opportunity to engage in on-site archaeology!