Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Research Fun

Way before you begin the actual writing of a novel (for at least the serious writers), you've gotta do a ton of research (if you're serious about writing authentically).

Let me give you an example:

My suspense. I did research on the following stuff:

Montana State
Nature, trees, flowers, climate, geographical land, rocks, echoes
Detective training
Outfitter businesses
Montana's protected species
Blackfoot tribe
Colleges from Montana
Fines and punishment for hunting out of season
and more!

For one romance book, I researched:

Ice Skating
Classical music
Various foods
Hot Air balloons
Concert pianists

Another included:

Apples and orchards
Antique cars
Houses, styles
Beginning from scratch to build furniture
Death certificates

Is it necessary to do all that? For me, yes. I may only make a single reference to an item. Sometimes more. But I want to have my facts fairly straight. Gives me more credibility. Sometimes, something will never get mentioned, but it helps me know my character better. Why he does this. Why she chose a certain thing.

One problem with research for me is that I get sidetracked if I'm not careful. I might be researching a certain park area, and come across something that is totally fascinating. Woe is me then! If I'm fortunate I'll get away from that with nothing more than some interesting information. The worst case: a new idea for another book!

Only after (and sometimes while I'm writing) do I feel capable of moving on to the actual writing business.

It's a lot of work. But it's fun and informative too.

Well worth the time and effort.

The will to win is worth nothing unless you have the will to prepare.


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