Research, oh how I love research. This wasn’t always the case. In school they taught us how to research various topics, many of which I didn’t care for, but it helped prepare me for what I now do. Writing. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘write what you know’ well what if you don’t know what you’re talking about? Research can be your best friend. What better excuse to meet a handsome firefighter, or police officer than research? Want to know how to bake a cake? I mean why particular ingredients are in a chocolate cake, but not a yellow or white cake? And what is the real difference between a white cake and a yellow cake? Or maybe you just want to know why a spark plug takes a particular gap on a Chevy, but not on a Ford. Unless you’re a genius it takes research.
Just like you spend time developing your character, research helps give the story body. DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN ALL THE LITTLE DETAILS OF RESEARCH. Most times you’re not going to even use it in the story but writing from a place of knowledge lends credibility to the character; but I was limiting myself.
I’ll admit I’ve had some lazy moments and those stories didn’t get written. Research opens a whole new world of possibilities. Some research is easy. It could be something small like verifying a fact. Or it could be more arduous, especially when it deals with history, anything technical, medical or whatever it may be That’s when the writer needs to become a mini expert in a subject and network with other who live and breathe the subject they’re researching.
One of the fun things I got to research was the world of gaming. Did you know you can make a substantial amount of money playing video games? And win prizes too. I‘ve met a few of the top players in the region, thanks again to my children.
The best part of research is learning something I didn’t know before and sharing it with my readers in a story. After all, truth is stranger than fiction.