Research. A word that many, many people shy away from. “Oooh, it’s such a hard thing to do!”, “I simply don’t have time for that.”, “But can’t I just make it up?”
No it’s not, if you don’t have time for that you don’t have time to write a book, and no. No, you cannot just make it up.
Now, a lot of people do research – the thing is, they just don’t do it right. The might research the wrong things, or get their facts wrong – maybe they don’t even write it down. So how do you research?
#1 – make sure you have the materials to do so.
I don’t just mean a paper and a pen/pencil/quill to write it down. I mean: what are you going to look at for your research? With the internet, you quite literally have the world at your fingertips (why, thank you, Google Maps). So yes, using the internet is good – just remember that people can lie on the internet, so make sure you look at many different places for your research. If possible, head to your local library. Books are a mountain of information, and it’s most often factual correct – just try and make sure it’s as up-to-date as possible. And, obviously, make sure you record everything useful and relevant that you find out. Even if you think you might not need it, try it anyway – it could come in useful in the future!
#2 – look in as many places as possible
Information overload. Naa – no such thing! Keep looking, looking, looking! You might think you know every Greek monster out there, but then you have a glance at yet another textbook – and, oh! You find another one! You may discover something you never even realised – or find out that the information you had always relied on to be false.
#3 – keep referring to your research
Make sure that, once you have your notes – and make sure you keep lots and lots and lots of notes – you keep looking at them, reminding yourself of them. Don’t forget them, or get mixed up and tell your readers two different things.
#4 – when you actually write, don’t info dump with your research
Don’t tell your readers everything in one go! Your readers only need to know the necessary stuff and they don’t need to know it all at once! Let in little bits here and there, in a way that still makes it interesting for your readers.
Hope that helped! I’ll do one on how to research, perhaps, later this week or early next week.
Questions? Shoot. 🙂
Ps, I like GIFs. I think I’ll use them more often.