Question Wednesday: Research

On January 2nd I put out a call for questions (in conjunction with a contest) and many of you asked some great ones! Every Wednesday (until I run out of questions), I’ll be answering them here! There may be ones that are related, so I’ll answer multiple questions at once. You can always add a new questions to the queue by posting them as a comment here.

Jess asks: So my question is what level of research goes into each story? Like the Married with Zombies series vs Erotic Historical Fictions vs a short story? How much do you advise per genre and to what extent? (Make up 90%? Talk to friends and coworkers? Talk to specalists? Read?) I have always wondered how much authors do/what is acceptable.

Well, anything is acceptable as long as the research makes the story work. There are authors who do research for years before they write. Or others, like me, who spot research. For instance, when writing about UW campus, I went partially from my time going there, but also utilized campus and building maps and information online.

As for my historical romances as Jess Michaels, I’ve been writing in the Regency period for over a decade now, so I have most of the basics of the world down. Again, I tend to spot research for things I need and always keep adding general knowledge through reading.

But there are no hard and fast rules. My only admonishment would be that you could easily spend all your time researching rather than writing. You don’t want that because then, well, there’s no book for anyone to judge you by. 🙂

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