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Posts on Writing: Research

I’ve been thinking a lot about research lately. Largely because I’m in the research phase for several projects.

One problem with research is knowing when there is too much. Has looking for more and more information and sources usurped actually writing? 

Another problem is recognizing when one needs to do research. This is, I think, especially true when it comes to more contemporary set works. 

Writing a secondary fantasy world pretty much points to various research topics. Take my first epic fantasy idea. I need to research Gudit. I need to research Boadicaea. I need to research England in the 1380s. Etc. I know what I lack. I know what I need to search for.

But the other project I’m working on, an urban and contemporary fantasy, is significantly more difficult figure out what I don’t know (and need to know). Where is the setting? What specific quirks do I not know? Do I need to research various professions? And the closer to home, the harder it gets. Because I know where I live, don’t I?

Every interesting conundrum, yes? 

But this, really, only covers specific researches. Not the everyday researches that we, as writers, are subconsciously aware of. 

Example: I was doing some readings on Texas history. I came across an article that explored West Texas’s role in the Civil War. And boom, that might form the inspiration of a space opera or an epic fantasy (depends if I stick to my two epic fantasy rule). That was an awesome experience. And I’ve had many of those. 

Research is fun. But one must be cautious. 

I would like to say more. But my desk chair broke, so I’m writing this in a very uncomfortable position. Oh, my back!

It is so uncomfortable that I couldn’t write a review of Avengers vs. X-Men. Not that I have much nice to say about Marvel’s event last year. . .