Monday, June 4, 2012

Doing Your Homework

I’ll be the first to say it, I hate research. I love just making up my own little fantasy world. But that’s unrealistic. Even if I’m making up my town and my characters and my setting, they still have things that need to be researched like jobs. Research, however irritating, is pertinent to writing.

By day I work as a hair stylist so if I were to read a book about a hair stylist I would expect the facts to be correct. When I read a book set in my home state I might be annoyed to read an unrealistic climate. These things matter even if they seem small.

When I was in eighth grade I remember writing a story about a girl in the nineteen fifties. Clearly having been born in 1986 I wasn’t privy to life in 1956. So I wrote my female lead going dress shopping at the local mega mall. Not exactly where she would’ve been going back then. Luckily no one ever read this story but if they had I would’ve been in for an earful from an editor.

Some stories need loads of research and there are plenty of authors out there who love that. Personally the stories I tend to write don’t need a lot. I write about writers a lot of the time…yes very Stephen King of me I know. I like to write what I know but that doesn’t mean I won’t step out my box every now and again. I have a work in progress right now about a band (surprise, surprise) so I’ll be researching and hopefully interviewing some real life rockers to get a better handle on how to write it. Fact checking is necessary because creating a realistic and readable novel is important to me so I’ll always do it.

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