The Digital Quill’s Writing Tips – Do Your Research

Most if not all the time, doing research for a specific writing project is required, whether you research a historic period you place your narrative in or you need to look up certain psychological aspect or body language for some of your characters, it is very common to have research to do when you are a writer.

Your research often happens prior to the actual writing, but it can also be required later on during the writing process, when you realize you need it, especially if you have pantser’s habits. It is all right to do research at several points of your writing process. Making sure you do it is what matters most.

In the case of nonfiction, it is more likely that you will do the largest part of your research prior to begin writing, especially in the case of analyze and critical studies of any kind. This helps you build your structure and direct your writing. Of course, just like with fiction, you may find yourself do more research as new questions emerge as you progress in your manuscript.

What about you?

  • Do you make sure you do needed research?
  • Do you remain open for need of it later during your writing process?
  • How do you keep your research organized?

4 thoughts on “The Digital Quill’s Writing Tips – Do Your Research

  1. I do quite a bit of research, Natacha. Because I write fantasy, most of it is detail-oriented on things like armor, horses, weapons and fighting techniques. I have done some larger, more in depth research on Roman battle strategies, cliff dwellings, and old sailing ships including some actual time on a tall ship 🙂 Whenever I can, I get hand’s on experience. Trying things out for myself and visiting my book locations provides insights that I just can’t get from the internet. It’s worth the effort.

    1. Getting hands on experience when you can is such a great learning process. I love learning about certain aspects of what I am writing about. I rarely get to gets hands on experience due to my world building but when I tie to contemporary or existing settings, I try to go there if it isn’t on the other end of the world. 🙂

  2. I like to read history books and make lots of notes on interesting topics. It’s a way of finding inspiration for stories and gives me a well of ideas to draw on. More detailed research can take place when I’m actually writing and need to know something specific. I set my books in real places so I also rely quite heavily on maps. Google street view is great for seeing what a place looks like.

    1. I love taking notes. I tend to remember things better if I took notes and didn’t just read, which is also why I tend to like having things printed so I can physically highlight and scribble notes. Maps are useful! 🙂

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