Monday, April 23, 2012

R is for Research

Sorry it took a little bit to post past the letter Q. I may have (unintentionally) made you think that I had just up and quit anyways, despite me saying that I didn't plan to. Not so. Fridays and Saturdays get really busy for me and I've been using Sundays to catch up, instead of taking it off like I'm supposed to for the A to Z Challenge.

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Letter R is for research!

Research is very important when writing. Doing your research can really make a difference in how people accept your work. If you fail to do research, most people will see that you are "faking it" and it can pull them right out of the story. This is bad! You want people into the story, forgetting they are even reading. If you remind them they are reading by making them think, "Woa, the author really messed up here," then you are not going to have as successful a story. You risk not getting those coveted reviews that curse you for keeping them up all night because they could not put the book down.

Some things need to be researched more than others. If you have a character getting excited because he or she got a new computer, it might not be a bad idea to hit some tech sites and see what kind of things excite people about new computers. It doesn't need to take a lot of research if it is just a part of a small scene in your story.

However, if the computer is central to the story and you don't know much about computers, make sure you start to become an expert. If you have a kid who uses his computer to hack into the CIA, you had better become a bit of an expert on hacking, tracing, getting around passwords, encryption, proxy servers, and more.