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Author: Subject: So how long have you been researching your novel?
lj_lee
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smiley09.gif posted on 6-20-2014 at 09:22 PM
So how long have you been researching your novel?


All novels require research, but I think this is a particular difficulty for those of us who write historical fiction. I remember reading No Plot? No Problem! and coming across the "no more than one week of research" passage. I wrote indignantly in the margin, "But I'm writing a historical novel!"

Besides, it was too late for me. I'd been doing research for months already, and had been interested in my place and time period for years. I suspect it's similar for a lot of us who make the choice to fictionally inhabit a different time and place.

So how long have you been researching your book? And what's your plan of attack as we go into the last week before the writing starts in earnest?
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mokano7
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[*] posted on 6-21-2014 at 03:02 AM


I think this is a valid thread for the general writing chatter supergroup. To answer your question, lee, I will require a little explanation. I have never written historical fiction, but even hardcore science fiction and modern-day writing takes research. For instance, in The First Book of John: The Strydyr Incident, on multiple occasions I have characters visiting pastoral worlds where the people of the planet have elected to live in a certain time period due to personal preference. In that instance, a knowledge of pre-revolutionary France is useful due to one character fomenting a rebellion of the working class on the planet.

So for me and my style of writing, the research never stops. There is always something new to learn and that new information takes my writing to the next level. The science I started writing 1BOJ with has changed and become more elaborate as I research astrophysics and sociology and psychology. So to answer your question, I have been researching for the thing I am presently working on for 10 years and counting.
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lj_lee
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[*] posted on 6-22-2014 at 02:00 AM


Yeah, and that's another reason the one-week research thing doesn't feel right for me. Depending on the style of writing (like yours), the research isn't just for a specific project but is practically a way of life.
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