How to Research Your Story Before Writing Your Book
by: Dermot Davis
Most stories that you are thinking of writing require you to do some research to get the facts right and to understand the subject better. However, my advice would be not to do any research at all before you start your first sentence and if you really must, do so sparingly and set yourself a time limit – that you stick to – for wrapping up your research.
The maxim I use is: do all your research AFTER you write the story and not BEFORE you begin to write the story. The reason being is that “researching the story” is not “writing the story” and can be another way of making excuses for why you’re not actually writing. How many people have you heard say that they are writing a story and upon further enquiry, they announce, “Well, I’m in the research phases, right now?” For some people these research phases can go on for years before the opening passage of their book is even written.
Unless it’s a non-fiction book where preliminary research is critical, writing fiction is all about STORY. If you know your story, then whether you research if the gun the criminal used was a Beretta 418 or a Colt M1911, that is something that you can research to your heart’s content after you have written the story. Just like sitting down to write, doing research requires discipline. How many times have you gone online to research something and ended up hours later reading some online Wikipedia entry or blog discussion about something distantly removed from where you started your enquiry from? Write your story first, fill in the blanks later.
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Genre - Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG13