Thursday, August 16, 2007

Researching Backwards

Just so you know...I haven't been to bed yet, and I'm typing this in at 1:44 in the morning...so techincally it's still Wednesday for me.

Now a little secret about how I research. I do it all backwards. I'll write the book and put in what I want or think should be there, then I'll go back and look up the facts to insert. Do I end up having to rewrite some passages...oh, sure. Do I care? Not really, since I'm most likely going to pick over the manuscript again and again anyhow. I find that by doing my research this way, I tend not to get bogged down by details or go on wild goose chases that might lead me astray. I do occasionally read books on subjects before I start writing and I find I do get little details that might spark ideas for other books. While I love when that happens, I tend to let it sidetrack me while the entire fresh idea goes full blown in my head. Very bad for business. If you could see my files and all the half-finished novels I have that never saw their endings for this very reason, you'd know why this is such a hazard for me.

Another reason why I love researching backwards is for the simple fact it helps to focus your search down. It's hard to ask questions if you don't know what the questions are. Same with research. If you already know the exact focus of your search you'll save valuable time in digging through books or the endless stream of internet files. Warning: If doing research online be sure you're facts come from reliable sources. Granted, JoeShomeshouseoffacts.com might have the answers right, but I wouldn't count on it.

-Kat

1 comment:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hey Kat, you're a lot more coherent at that hour than I would be :D

Those are excellent points about focusing your research efforts. I know I tend to leap into the cauldron and get things are stirred up and I lose a lot of time when I do that. That's why I try to do research before or after I write the story :D