I don’t write sci-fi or medical thrillers or historical anything. Not because I don’t love reading them, but because the research needed to make the finished product accurate and believable is outside my realm of capability.
And yet, I research heavily for almost everything I write. For an entire year before penning Whispering Minds, my YA psychological thriller, I scoured the annals of psychology and read book after book–both memoirs and hardcore textbooks–to get a broad understanding of my subject matter, as well as a very nuanced view of individual cases. And I have a psychology background!
Before penning even one word about my Native American MC, I read countless websites, highlighted hundreds of passages in several new books I purchased and conversed with real-live Indians.
Now, I find myself steeped in viewing youtube videos and reading a multitude of new books on a certain delicate subject. And this is just the start. Over the course of the next six months, I will continue to ferret out as much information as I can on the matter, although, barring a strange occurence, I don’t plan to start this next novel until November.
I’m an information junkie. I love reading about any and every topic I can think of. I love piecing together little things to create something new and exciting. I love writing fiction. I love the creative license it gives me to manipulate facts within the realm of acceptable.
But first I must learn the realm before I can push the outer boundaries. And so I research. To me, reading about obscure topics is exhilarating. Research of this kind is so much pleasure that I almost feel guilty.
How about you? Do you research your novel ideas before ever writing, or do you wing it and confirm facts later? Or do you simply write within the realm of the “common known” to avoid painful research? Or, conversely, do you write so far out of the realm of normal that you create a world of unknowns?
Does research give you hives, or do you derive pleasure from tracking down any and all information you can on a topic? What does research look like for you?
Curious minds want to know.