How research works…

I don’t know about you, but when I’m getting ready to start a new book I try and knock off as much research as possible before I start so I don’t get distracted when writing. It still has its pitfalls as this graphic pretty much demonstrates:

Finding Inspiration by browsing the Internet

10 comments on “How research works…

  1. Hah! I don’t write books, but this rings true for me for a lot of things, including painting. Thanks for the share and making me laugh this morning, AJ.


    • Glad you enjoyed it, Deb. I love researching (so much so my Mum will ring me rather than look it up herself).

  2. My own distraction is this: I’ll start off looking something up. I find a terrrific web site on the subject, which…has at least one intriguing link to another post or web site. Arriving there I find yet another related link… before I know it, I’ve blown a whole day’s research, but learned heaps anyway. And maybe have an idea for another piece.

    • I wonder if there’s a name for that? I’m sure there are enough of us who do it. Kinda like leaving a trail of lollies a la Hansel and Gretel.

      If you come out of it with an idea for another piece it’s not wasted time =)

  3. That’s hilarious. And as we know, the best humor is based in reality. Yeah, that’s right.

  4. There is something to be said for going into a book with no ideas whatsoever and only going back to research when you hit something that you need more information for. Of course, that invites problems later on when in your research you find that something you wrote won’t actually work (or isn’t actually realistic), but that’s an editing problem, right?

    Yeah, I’m more of a plotter, too. I’m outlining a novel at the moment. Working on world building. And I have been for two years…

  5. Stop talking about my life, AJ! I love to research and have the ‘advantage’ that writing nonfiction means, to me, that I should read every word that has ever been written about a subject. I’ve learned to not let it go quite that far or I’d never write another word in my life, but I do have an enormous database of research. So the end result is that I dance around at around your 99% of the time mark, not quite hitting ‘overwhelmed’ but almost. What can I tell you? It’s my form of risk-taking, a kind of mental bungee jumping.

    • Ooh, I love that term “mental bungee jumping”. I think it’s important for everyone to have this somewhere in their lives to keep their brain active, so if reaching that 99.9% mark gives you that then go for it, Karen =)

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