Welcome to another fabulous month of IWSG. A place where writers gather to offer support for all those many insecurities we all face in this crazy world of publishers, critiques and reviews.
I'll admit, June was a fairly productive month for me. I wrote six chapters on a new work-in-progress, joined a couple writing groups (a big step forward for me) and have tried to be a more diligent online buddy to others (If I really failed here, please don't tell me). I only have one small burr poking at me at the moment.
(Yes, this word needs to be capitalized and in bold type with how big of a headache it has been.)
You fabulous writers and authors have probably long ago mastered this particular beast, but I am still struggling to tame it. (I will prevail!)
Research is a double-edged sword (quill?) in the writing world. Too much and you never get around to writing. (My problem. I can spend hours and days on learning awesome new facts.) Too little and, well, your have unhappy, disappointed readers. (Also a problem. I get sidetracked just learning and don't know how to incorporate what I learn seamlessly into my tale.)
So with stacks of books teetering on my desk, online searches and raids on my local library, I attempt to be an expert on all my characters likes, dislikes and hobbies. Then forget half of what I studied when it comes time to write and have to re-research all of it again in order to a make my story more "realistic".
I get fleshing your story and characters out with details is important, but at what point is enough, you know, enough.
How can I be a doctor, chemist, sports car enthusiast, animal whisperer and far too many roles to name, all contained in one person? (Talk about multiple personality disorder.)
I've found if I know a little bit about a lot of things, my characters are more well-rounded. But I still haven't learned how to research effectively and actually incorporate what I learn into my story without it being obvious that I just inserted a random fact. (Open mouth and out spills text quote.)
Time to dive back into the pile. Historian, there is another role to add to the writer's list of requirements. I know, it just keeps growing.
How do you handle balancing research and writing? Any tips for more effective use of research?