Research: What Do You Need & How Do You Find It
heIn about a month, I’m hopping on a plane to Illinois. I’ll drop my son with his cousins (Oh, yeah, he’ll SO miss me. Not.) grab my sister for a couple of days, and head north to Chicago.
It’s research time.
My YA WIP is set in Chicago. In 1913. In March. Well, summer is just a better traveling time, and my sister swears she’ll be my reader for weather stuff when the book is done. So, we’re going.
Is this the perfect time to go? Probably not. Would it be better if I’d finished at least one draft of the novel? Most likely. Do I live a life of nothing but writing and leisure, with a townhouse in Chicago and a private jet to take me there anytime I want, not to mention a butler to make all the arrangements? Oh, sure.
None of us do. As writers, we work with the schedule we have, get in as much book-reading and online research as possible, then carve out the hours we can to go and do the live research. For my MG mystery, which is set in Santa Cruz, this meant I wrote as much as I could, then drove over the hill to explore settings, take photos, and talk to a few people.
This time around, I get to cram all that into a couple of days. Whee!
Anyway, I’m thinking about research & how to get ready for the trip, so thought I’d find a few links about writers & research and share them with you.
- A. Louise Staman talks about Research Ideas for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers at the Georgia Writers Association.
- Erika Dreifus has some general info & what looks like a few great links in her article “A Research Primer for Historical Fiction Writers” at Writing-World.com.
- Lisa Gold talks about how to balance and weave together the research with the writing, in her post Advice for writers about research. Lisa’s whole Research Maven blog looks fantastic; I’ll be adding it to my blog feed today.
- Leo Babauta’s post Research Sources for Writers: A Guide to Backing Up Your Words talks about using open access journals to get hold of hard-to-find info without paying a ton of money. Looks like some good links, too.
- Charlotte Dillon has a MASSIVE list of Research Links for Writers for…oh, looks like anything you could possibly think of!
Go crazy. And have a great 4th of July!