Research – Do You Like Doing It?…

research_20140123i LOVE reading!

i will read almost anything, in English (German takes me too long and Mandarin is too hard now that i’ve left it behind decades ago), with the exception of very theoretical stuff like Chaos Theory.

When i did History, Geography and Literature in school, subjects where research is important, i was in heaven! i also enjoyed reading all of the research i had to do for my thesis when i was at university.

So now that i’m writing a novel, it seems strange that i’m a little reluctant to do some research. It’s not the having to do all the reading that is making me hesitant, it’s the time it takes and how easily distracted i get following one link to the next to the next and beyond BUT…

… research is important!

i have just finished listing my scenes and “interviewing” all of my major characters and think i’m ready to start writing proper. However, there were a few points which came up in the “interviews” which should really be researched on. They are not major plot points but they relate directly to the characters involved and could very well influence things like dialogue.

Then i read Do the Write Thing and now i have decided i should do the research!

Because who knows, it just might be my novel which unexpectedly blows Dan Brown out of the literary waters and (i’m) suddenly swamped with speaking or blogging requests*, i don’t wanna be caught out on a few poorly researched points…

So anyone knows how to put a few more hours into the very short 24 we have been given a day so i can get all these research done? 😉

Do you research details of the story you are writing? Do you like doing research? How do you do your research? Internet? Go old-school – at the library?


*orange text is quoted from Do the Write Thing. i am grateful for the inspiration and encouragement from The Write Practice blog.

The Simple Formula to Write a Book

Here's a peek at my current project - a fantasy story - 1st time writing fantasy... how "interesting", isn't it?

Now if only writing were as easy as applying a formula to it, such as Einstein’s E=MC2…

Ok wrong example, that was not an easy formula… but sometimes i just wished that there was a way of making the story/novel just pouring out of my brain onto the blank page, instead of me chasing it around my head and cracking my skull trying to extract the exact words, thinking how to make the characters do what i want them to do, or go the way i want them to go. Why do i have to trash it out with the plot bunnies? (If you do Nanowrimo, you will understand about the plot bunnies.) Why can’t the plot just walk out of my finger tips onto the white sheet and become that wonderful amazing piece of writing i know is in my grey matter?

If you go to the link below, you will see that their final recommendation is

Pain + Time

That’s right – to be a writer, one has to suffer to create the art. And of course, suffering has to take time.

The Simple Formula to Write a Book | The Write Practice.

Even thought i’m here moaning about the process of writing, i think they do have a point:

Pain + Time. It’s the only way to create anything of value.

And there are ups in this rather long-drawn ‘ouch’ process; i love creating the Characters, i love picturing them in my head, i love trying different outfits on them, not to mention different hairstyles, eye colour, voice quality etc. Best of all, i love getting to know what makes them tick. i know it sounds funny that a writer would need to get to know the characters she creates. But really you start out with an idea of what they look like or maybe what they do and then as the story progresses, their various characteristics start appearing and some are pretty unexpected, some are quite cool, some completely throw the story into a different universe.

For the story to progress means there is Plot. Now Plot is something i tend to struggle with; this is my down. i have all these lovely characters floating around, doing one thing or another. So how do i get them together to make a meaningful story… that’s where i hit the brick wall… and that’s where the pain comes in for me and the long hours staring at my notebook or computer screen.

However, i know they (my characters) have a story to tell, so i interview them, chat with them, have coffee with them, take long walks with them until it flows out from them a little at a time… slowly but surely… (thought i rather wish quickly rather than slowly). It may take a few months, it may take years but i will be here plodding along till the day it all finally comes together and i hold a bound copy of my writing in my hands – i dream of this day.