I’m currently writing my first novel. Writing seriously for the first time makes you realise how steep the learning curve is. How steep you ask? VERY steep. So Steep in fact that it can seem like an impossible task before you’ve even put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). I seriously underestimated the amount of research required just to wind even a simple story together. I’ve barely finished the first chapter but I am already well aware that I have spent at least as much time researching details as I have writing about them.
Why research at all?
Research is an important part of story writing. The knowledge gathered during research makes the story you are telling more compelling and believable. If the author is writing about something he already understands, research can provide a bit of background to this knowledge and create the the much needed foundations the reader requires to be able to follow the story.
One main reason doing adequate research is important is because your book could be read by someone who is an expert in the field or at least has a comfortable understanding of the subject matter being discussed. If research isn’t carried out to an appropriate level (and I’ve experienced this myself), the reader won’t enjoy the story and could stop reading altogether, and many actively avoid future releases from that author.
The effort you put into research should be equal or greater than the effort you put into the actual writing of the story. The blood sweat and tears produced during the weaving of the narrative should be equal to that expended reading up on the matter at hand. More knowledge of the genre and subject usually makes the writing part easier anyway, makes for a better story and makes you more confident as a writer.
Most importantly, if you don’t believe what you are writing yourself, why should you expect someone else to?
Writing a book requires a lot of research. Are you ready for it?