Thursday, February 6, 2014

Researching and Writers

I love researching. I really do.  I love learning new things and making my stories have a thread of realism in them.

Lately I've been researching military law, special response teams, and diners.  Doesn't that sound fun to you?

I even like organizing it.  Live interviews, articles, on-site stuff.  I get all happy inside looking at my research because I know it makes my writing stronger and my story something my readers can get lost in.  Although sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.  I've had readers say that a certain event couldn't have happened in reality, not realizing that it was actually based on real events.  I just want my stories to be as accurate as I can make them, so I do careful research to assure that it is.

The problem becomes when I get lost in the research. I could keep going with it forever.  I can call it pre-writing, but really, once I have the details that I need, that's when I should stop.  But it's hard!

It's a fine line between researching and procrastinating, and I'm still looking for the magic bullet that will tell me to stop.  A thread of realism is what I need, nothing more than that.  Then I can look forward to seeing how the thread will work in my story and the writer's rush I get when I see a well-written page.

But maybe I'll just look up one more thing . . .


Debra Erfert said...

Believe it or not, Julie, I've had writers tell me that some of the things I write about can't be real, or they don't sound right, when they are actually factual and based on experience. Weirdly enough, sometimes being too accurate can be unbelievable.

I know that I can spend weeks, even months doing research and only end up using a small fraction of that hard-earned knowledge in the book.

Stop procrastinating, and finish your first chapter. I think once you get into the Captain's story, he'll tell you what you need to know.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I give a writer's comments some serious thought because most writers have done extensive research and interviewed and been places and know their subjects pretty well. But, as always, it is up to the author herself to change her manuscript or not.

I will definitely get going on this next part of the book. Thanks for the vote of confidence! :)