Thoughts on Researching for Fiction
Research is an essential and an integral part of writing. It helps create authenticity, allowing the reader to really experience the timeframe the story is set in. Even when writing fantasy, where anything can happen, which I love by the way, it too requires research to keep events/situations credible within aspects of the plot and characters. “Write what you know” is something we often hear about and it’s true, however it is the little things which create a setting for an environment to make it more realistic and these should be researched to ensure accuracy, even if it is speculative fiction.
Research can transform writing from being “good” to “amazing”, creating a “wow” experience for the reader where they can almost taste the food, experience the smells and feel like they have both feet planted physically in the scene of the story.
The following are some steps/guidelines to help with researching:
Carry out research even if you know what you are writing about
Research before and during writing
Allow the research to enhance the story but not to control it
Researching does not need to be costly
Research from your own environment
Research using all of your physical senses – explore and discover
Don’t include everything you research – information overload can distract the reader and diverge from the storyline
Personally I believe research is an extremely important aspect of the writing process and its power should never be underestimated. It can be a slow process but worth it in the end. Don’t stop every time you need to research something, as this can disrupt your writing flow. Insert a note and carry on.
I hope the above guidelines/steps will help you with the research process that can also be creative and fun, enhancing the whole experience of writing your novel/book.
A reminder that you can download your free Character Development Sheet to assist in building a round and detailed character by clicking HERE.
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