Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Research...What You Do When You're Not Writing

I've been struggling with a certain reality the last few weeks. Grumbling to myself has become a common occurrence of late. Feelings of guilt and anxiety overwhelm me when I consider how much time I have actually spent writing on my new novel.

"I'm only sixty thousand words into this book. How is that possible? What's wrong with me?"

And so forth...

Last night when I stopped writing (once again) to do some research, I finally stopped chastising myself for not writing as much as I believe I should be.

What I have been spending a lot of time on is researching information for the novel. Though I had already done a lot of research for the first book, THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE, the sequel also demands a lot of attention to detail. I want the world that Glynis inhabits to feel real to the reader and that means I have to do my homework.

So what have I researched lately about the early 1800's:

Hair styling
Proper tea service
Which buildings existed in Buda, Hungary during this time...and which did not.

and a whole lot more!

A lot of times writers live by their daily word counts. We flog ourselves if we don't hit our target and are joyous when we go over the designated number. Honestly, I know a lot of writers who live and die by their word counts. But what we forget is that sometimes the creation of a story is not about just getting the words down (that is important), but researching important aspects of that story that will make it a richer experience for our reader.

I have decided to forgive myself for all the times I have had to pause in writing the story to look up some little bit of information that will add meat to the bones of the story.

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