Thursday, March 11, 2010

When Does the Research Stop?

Tip of the Day: I'll be at Author Fair 2010 with a bunch of other authors this weekend in Joliet, IL. If you're in the area, stop by!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had a new book that I'm working on and so so excited about. And you'd think I would have 5 or 6 chapters nailed by now right? No. I'm still on chapter 1! Ugh. Page 7 to be exact. You know what's happening? I keep starting then stopping. Start and stop. Startstop. I begin writing and I'm so jazzed and then I think oh no! I need to research more! Would she say that? Do that? Must read lots and lots about ******* (I'm not telling yet) before I can write! Then I read for days and days and take notes and get really excited again and write about a paragraph or two and then hit the BRAKES. Wait...am I missing something vital? Must get more books to read. Then it's more and more reading. And no writing. And I feel guilty because I should be writing. But it's like I'm afraid I'll write something wrong and portray a character the wrong way or not use the right words or setting. THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME! This is book #8 and I've always just sat down and written them out, no prob. I've never done loads of research before any book. Even with the Espressologist and all the coffee drinks and terms etc. that I needed to get familiar with I still didn't do a lot of research. I just wrote whatever I felt each time I sat down to write and learned all the coffee details as I went along.

Do you guys do a lot of research before you write? And when do you stop researching and start writing?

Kristina, Miss See Me on the Shelves

8 comments:

Kate Fall said...

Every book is different, right? The book I'm writing now is requiring tons of research, and I'm still making notes like "research this more." It's been much slower going than usual.

But, hey, maybe this up-front research will save us revision time in the long run!

Laura Pauling said...

On the books that have a historical element I do enough research to get started. I fill in the gaps with more research and that usually inspires more story ideas and better description. But I don't think it ever truly stops until I feel like an expert on the subject.

Emily Marshall said...

It totally depends on the book. I like to research alot upfront, but sometimes I just have to say, enough is enough. Then I just write and when I get stuck I just put ????? and come back to it at a later date. It helps to just get the info I do know down and get the story started.

Lisa Schroeder said...

I agree with Kate. Each book is different. Some come easily, some are hard the whole way through.

I know it can be discouraging, but you ARE still working on the book, even if you're not adding words.

DeenaML said...

I just learned that I have to change the dessert my MC bakes for her bff's dad bc a person getting chemo has a sensitive stomach and needs something light, not heavy brownies. Not enough research for me!

Shannon Messenger said...

I know your pain. My current MS is MG Fantasy, and I had to build not one world, but three (worlds within our world, even MORE fun, cause I had to figure out how to hide them). I kid you not, I researched for a year and a half--and when I started writing I STILL didn't know half of what I needed. But it's paid off, because all the little details I took the time to fine tune are what always get the most praise when CPs read it. So...I know it's a pain, but it's part of the process. And you'll be glad you did it in the end.

Kristina Springer said...

Thanks for the encouragement/commiserating guys! :-)

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