Monday, January 30, 2012

Researching For Writing

Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories (*Wikipedia).

Any writer knows that research is an important, if not integral, part of working on a story. Doing research helps the writer to include details that will add to the credibility and the depth of the piece. Details are often what makes the world come alive in fiction, and what lets the reader to relate and connect to that world. The other aspect of including the correct information is the fact that your readers may be experts in various topics. When they read a story that contains errant information on those topics, they pick out those details out and this can, possibly, turn them away or at least bring a measure of negativity into the reading. A writer needs their audience to believe that they know what they're talking about.

Research can be tedious and time-consuming. It can also be fun and amazingly informative. Do not think of doing research for your story as a chore, something that you want to be done and over with. Instead, think of it as constant learning and enriching your mind with new information. There's so much out there to learn and explore. Personally, I know that when I'm doing research, I find out new information that leads me to look into yet other fascinating information.

Research today has been made much easier through the use of the Internet. Be careful however. Internet has as much bad and unreliable information out there as it has good and true information. Make sure you look at a few different sites on a particular topic. Another great source of acquiring reliable information - interviewing experts. You may have people in your own family who are experts in a particular topic. Otherwise, ask friends, neighbors, doctors you go, professors who teach your children, etc.. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Most people love to talk about what they love to do - whether their work or hobby - and would be glad to provide your with information for your story.

Make research a fun part of your writing process and you will enjoy doing it as much as writing!

Do you like doing research for you writing? What are your favorite research methods?


And just for fun:


  1. I enjoy doing research most of the time, but it's important to be careful that it doesn't overtake your writing. It's easier to procrastinate and call it "research" to avoid your writing. I know I've been guilty of this more than once. :)

    1. Tina, I completely agree, one can get easily preoccupied with research and spend more time than necessary as it becomes a distraction. I guess, as in everything else, it's all about finding a good balance.

  2. And try to back up anything you read on Wikipedia with other sources :)

  3. LOL Rebecca. Believe me, I usually do. I just needed a definition, and I liked that one ;)


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