I have a confession to make – when it comes to writing, I hate doing research. I hate having to worry about whether or not my antagonist would have been able to wear a polyester dress as early as 1948, or whether it is realistic or not for her daughter to have a porcelain doll.In fact, I hate doing research so much I will often change course and write something altogether different rather than do the work of sussing out the truth. In the given examples, for instance, the girl’s baby becomes a rag doll, and I simply opt not to discuss the fabric composition of anyone’s clothing in any given scene.
But, really, what is my problem? Why am I so resistant to doing even a little bit of research for the sake of my work? It’s not like it’s as hard to do research as it used to be. I remember – and by sharing this memory, I realize I am dating myself – the only way you could research something was to go to a building and look for something physically written down in a book or an article. Now, we have the world at our fingertips, and still I find research “not something I care to be bothered with.”
Fortunately, most of what I write is in the realm of aliens disguised as raccoons, so nobody is expecting much accuracy from my writing. But I know I’m not going to be able to ‘fake my way through’ for long – especially as more and more of what I write is grounded in reality.
Eventually, I’m going to have to do some research!
So, let’s you and I learn together this week the “do’s” and “don’ts” of such research, and how important it is to get your facts straight, even when you are writing fiction.
See you there,