The thing about writing novels is that for every idea, every world you step into, there's going to be stuff you don't know about. Especially if you're a sheltered introvert like me. So you have to research things and make sure you don't look like a total idiot in your own novel. Some writers spend hours and days and months researching, mostly because they decide to write about something complicated and research-heavy, as in historical fiction, or a medical issue, or a story that revolves around a setting that they've never been to.
I hate researching to that level.
I mean, I already spent weeks writing this novel, and it's going to be years of editing plus over a year at least to get it actually published, and taking up all that time researching just does not appeal to me. I'm really not that good at it either, because it involves a lot of detailed thinking, and I am not a detail person.
Luckily for me, none of my ideas have required a plethora of research, because I like to choose things that are not historical fiction, not setting-based, and derived around main concepts that I'm actually familiar with to some level. For example, many people would have had to do a ton of research for WHAT IT TAKES TO DEAL, because it's about fibromyalgia. But I have fibromyalgia, and I'm basically a walking encyclopedia on it at this point. So no research required.
Of course, I do still research for my novels on a smaller scale, because it's necessary, and a lot of the time, I actually enjoy it. Sometimes it'll get heavy and I'll get annoyed, but generally, I like to learn about what I'm including in my novel. Recently, when I was writing MERCIFUL for NaNoWriMo 2012, I experienced a good bit of this. Don't try this at home unless you're a NaNoExpert, because you really shouldn't research or edit during NaNo. But I had the time and the means to go out and do some very basic research while I was writing to expand the richness of my work.
So for your amusement, here's a partial list of things that I've researched in the past for some of my novels.
That's only a sampling! So the lesson to take from this is, you writers out there, is that you do need to do your research, although if you're smart, you can get away with a minimum. And for the rest of you, appreciate our mad research skills, and don't be afraid to laugh at some of the things we spend our time thinking about.
In other news, I really love my new job! I'm the copyeditor of my college paper, and I really enjoy it. I get to tell people what they do wrong! haha
Thanks for checking in, and I'll see you Saturday for some thoughts on self-publishing!
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