My first Research Road Trip (RRT) was generative — immerse myself in my main character and see what scenes would come out of it. The second (RRT2) was to confirm, narrow, and hone the scenes that stuck to the page. But the third (RRT3), which I just returned from, was different — I had a complete draft in hand, literally. I was able to walk through each scene, then sit and take in sensory detail, nab overheard background dialogue (I’m a thief), and see if the feelings I was trying to convey on the page matched my simulation of the real thing. So productive. So much fun. Not bad scenery, either.