Digging into the research

Let’s say there’s an aspect of your story that hinges upon some technicality that is beyond your knowledge. It could be a scene that moves the plot forward, or some backstory that is vital to character development. Whatever that is, it’s not beyond your determination to do the research, find the background information that will allow you to write the scene convincingly.

Now, thanks to Wikipedia, YouTube, and countless other online resources, and to libraries full of books, and with help from friends and acquaintances, you can pursue reliable information that will help you weave the details in a compelling way.

There’s not a lot of magic to this. With the focus of a beagle, you must go where the chase takes you. You read about the subject, talk to people who have had the personal experience of, say, looking at sea shells of Cuba.


The detective in you is not satisfied until finally you know more about the topic than most other people. Read, study, and think deeply about your topic. Then when you come back to your story you can let the details unfold.

Of course you don’t want to put everything you learned into the story. Wouldn’t that make the reader’s eyes bug out! Pick just the right details, the ones that will enable the reader to dwell there in your made-up world, eagerly turning the pages of your book. Convinced.

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Posted in Characters in 3-D, Plot, Set the scene

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