Monday, January 09, 2006

Musings on Research

I LOVE to research.

Pretty much everyone who knows me, knowsthis. I've often wondered WHY, though? Why do I like to dig up obscuredetails about the past? As a writer, my obsession has proven to beinvaluable, but also a form of procrastination. I can spend hourslooking for one little piece of information. Sometimes it's absolutelynecessary, while other times it's just a way for me to avoid my story.Also, I can be incredibly stubborn about just having to know.

Andthen, once I do know, I get caught up in organizing the information. Ofcourse, that isn't always such a bad thing, because otherwise I leavethe research material in piles on my desk and have trouble putting myhands on it when I need it. So that's why you'll find binders labelled 18th Century Fashionon my bookcase. I get so caught up researching one particular aspectthat sometimes I forget to look at other issues as well. And then Iwant all the books on the topic, which isn't really practical.Especially considering we're going to be moving my library across thecountry in a few months.

In FDin30D, Karen provides six days for the research process. Six completelydedicated days. That's after making a basic list of questions in thepreliminary outline. Hmmm, we'll see if it works.

So, how about you? Do you obsess about research? Do you let it interfere with your writing? And how long do you spend doing research?

No comments: