How much do you research?

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research-studies_000 Getting farther into my book, I realize I needed to do a bit more research on certain aspects. I took advantage of still having access to some scholarly databases before I graduate (ya JSTOR!) to download some scholarly articles to get a good grasp on one of the topics that I am really going to focus on in my story. It’s also my interpretation of historic influences, so of course I am going to go for articles – my fellow historians will understand how much of a crutch articles are. I am sure when I lose these database privileges in a couple weeks I am going to come up with many more things I need to look into, but I’m basically a research badass so I’m not too worried.

Getting into this though made me wonder how much research do you normally do? Since the saying goes “write what you know” it has me wondering how much people usually research for fiction. For me I am writing on things I have a foundation in, but I feel like to really KNOW anything you have to do additional research, there is just always so much to learn! Also, what are your tactics? Do you have certain databases you like, a book genre you are drawn to, personal interviews? In the authors note to a book I just read she laid out her approach to looking at how the world would restructure itself after a cataclysmic event, and it made a lot of sense and she used resources available to anyone. That also makes me wonder if I am making this research too hard on myself and resorting back to scholarly thinking as opposed to creative thinking.

On a side note, I’m head back to the mainland for two weeks! I will be in TX visiting family and my old stomping ground for the first week and then in VT for my grad school residency and graduation. So I will probably deviate a bit from my usual patters and show you guys all the awesome things Texas has to offer and my impressions of VT. It will be the farthest north on the East coast I’ve been so far!

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3 thoughts on “How much do you research?

  1. I like to start with a simple internet search on reputable sites, just to get a basic overview of the topic and events, etc. But I find that the best information usually comes from first person accounts. I look for diaries or articles written by people who were there. It helps fill out so many of the details that might not be available in more formal writings.

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