Research is my one of my favourite parts of writing a book. It’s just so much fun to do, to learn about things you’d have never considered until it decided to be in the story.
But what I’ve found is that the more you write, the more time you spend on researching things that you’d never thought of before.
For example, I’m currently writing my third book, With Silent Screams (and for everyone who e-mailed me in the last few weeks, no I don’t have a release date just yet, sorry) and so far have had to research the following things.
- Audi R8’s
- 1970s American Trucks
- 1970s airplanes that would have landed at New York Airports
- New York Airports
- New York Hotels
- New York mechanics
- The geography of Maine
- How long it takes to drive from Ontario to Manhattan and then from Manhattan to Portland
- F.B.I agents footwear
- Whether small towns in America would have a Sheriff or Police Department
- States of America
- Territories of Canada
Each of those things have only constituted a tiny portion of the book. In fact some of them don’t even have more than a word or sentence involvement, but each of them are incredibly important in setting the scene and getting things as correct as possible.
As a writer, the amount of time I spent actually carrying out research is much longer than you’d think. It’s certainly longer than I’d ever expected before I started work on my never to be published book, For Past Sins, 5 years ago. It was quite the eye opener.
After a while, I guess most writers become a jack-of-all-trades, knowing bits of information about a host of things; most of which wouldn’t be useful to anyone but them.
If I can offer one piece of advice; never abandon or ignore the research. Looking into one topic usually opens up a host of others and then makes your story that little bit more authentic. And whether your story is set in outer-space, a time of elves and magic, or modern day New York, you should always strive to ensure that those who read your story believe it enough to become immersed in world inside your head.