Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Perils of Research

How many of you have to or need to do research for the book you are writing?

On my current WIP, I had to do some research just to get started because I know very little about how the Intelligence organizations work.

Well, in doing so, I found some great and interesting information. The peril for me came when I would look up one thing that led to another and another, and even another. All of it became too interesting that I forgot the "scope" of the book.

I didn't forget the book because I have been writing like crazy, but I forgot what the hero/heroine's goal was, where I wanted to end up.

I got to about page 175 and became confused. (Okay, that may not be because of my story.) Anyway, I had to revisit the story and get an answer to one basic question. "Why was this one guy dead?"

It actually took me 2 days to state why.

Why did it take me that long to answer the question?

Because all the interesting facts I found became a puzzle in their own right so I wanted to put those together rather than my book's puzzle.

Thankfully, once I had the answer to that single question, I could answer all the other questions and move the story forward. Of course, I did have to go back and tweak a few chapters and even added another one in the middle yesterday.

Moral of this story. . .BEWARE of the perils of research in book writing.


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