The Value of Research

When it comes to writing, there is always going to be research involved.  I’m not talking about the kind of research where you peruse databases, spend hours in the library with books that smell like dirt (which I LOVE) or deal with yellowed pages.

Consider your genre.  Setting, time period, etc.  How do the people speak?  For instance, this current writer’s groups projects include a periodl fiction, middle grade, coming of age and women’s fiction – these each have a specific audience, elements to the genre that need to be considered.  Research for this might be the way schools are run now, weather patterns, consistency of clothing, even the technological toys that characters may have.

Consider your audience.  What do you know about them and their reading habits?  This is the fun kind of research, but spend time reading books that are also targeted to your audience.  Is there a necessity of a kind of love relationship?  What is the age appropriateness for your character to still target your reader.  Obviously, this isn’t set in stone as adults and children alike waited in lines for Harry Potter, but it does need to be considered.

Of course, there may be some of the “traditional” research – I’m learning all sorts of things about the process of organ transplants, Elaine knows lots about the life of some well-known scientists, Joy could tell you amazing things about the landscape of a European country and Rosalyn is very well versed on Arthurian legends.  But we all have taken the time for the other research as well.

What have you had to research for your WIP?  What is the most surprising thing that took up your researching time?

11 thoughts on “The Value of Research

  1. I have an upcoming post on how my research was way fun! I sat in front of the tv playing Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, and LOTR DVD trivia. Oh ya, baby! Best research ever! 🙂


  2. Researching is one of my favorite things. Sometimes I spend way too much time online just learning new little things. The last short story I wrote, I had to research ancient Greek pirates and ships. Fascinating stuff!


  3. I've spent hundreds of hours lost in research mode! 16th century Scotland, Sumerian cuneiforms, etc. All fascinating, time-consuming, but worth it!
    Thanks for following my blog! I'm now following back.


  4. Research can be SO much fun, and I'm very happy to live in a day and age when we don't have to run to the library when we need to find things out. For my SciFi triology, I'm still sorting through the research and trying to understand a lot of it. It's not like a lot of it's going to end up in the books, but that I need to have a firm grasp on the concepts so I know what I can get away with and what I can't.


  5. Good post Tasha and thanks for following me.

    I find the hardest thing about research is how much to include in the description. It's very tricky. I've been sick so please don't get mad at me if I don't stop by often.


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