Most times, I would use that word for writing papers, not necessarily for writing stories. Right now, though, I’m working on a few stories that I can’t really use personal experience with. I can’t take a year off from my life and travel around the country, and I haven’t had any luck winning the lottery. So research becomes a writer’s best trick to writing a believable story.
The Plot Thickens…
The book I’m working on now is about a woman who quits her job, gives away her things, visits her parents and stays there for a week before realizing the lottery ticket she’d picked up on her way out of town was a winning ticket. Beyond that, she had quit to write and travel. She just didn’t know what part of traveling she wanted to. Along the way, she realizes a few truths she had ignored before. The man she really liked was getting married, the man she hadn’t seen waiting for her in the background was falling in love with her story, and the people she had met along the way in various forms and capacities made her realize how much she had missed that was right in front of her.
Then Research Ensues…
This is where the research comes in because this is where I’m stuck. There are so many cities to pick from that would be awesome to write about, so many things to do in those cities, and so many ways to write about her journey. I had thought about doing a foodie trip before, using the mock road-trip schedule I had made a few years ago as places to start with for things like “Diners, Drives, and Dives” and “Man vs. Food”. While I was trying to come up with that list, I remembered looking through “1000 Places to See before You Die in the U.S.” Fast-forward and these are the things I’m starting with to help move the story along.
And Things Move Along.
Along with the travel, the main character has goals she wants to do along the way. One of the guys will find a way to join her in some of her adventures, and the other is only briefly at the parameter of the story. Research also helps me figure out which goals she can accomplish where.
Whether you are working on a story that you’re stuck on or are trying to figure out that goal you’ve wanted to do for a while, research can be your best friend or your worst enemy, as there is such a thing as too much research.
Sometimes, getting out from behind the computer screen and just doing something is the only research you need.
Good luck out there!
Listening to: The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Reading: Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
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