Possibly the worst feeling on Earth is dragging oneself out of bed so that they can write and do school. Or is that just me? Because my sister can be quite the morning person.
I spoke ( wrote? ) recently about the novel I’m writing, which I am very obviously excited about ( come on, faeries are the coolest. ) As I’ve been doing research, I’ve learned quite a bit about Celtic mythology. Like, did you know that the Morrigan was actually three goddesses?
But, yes, I’m talking about research today.
My question is: how much research is too much research? Is research just procrastination?
I mean, I’m not really one to talk. While trying to get into writing my current novel, I spent two and a half months solely researching faeries. Possibly why it took so long is because there is hardly anything out there about faeries and I like my novels well researched. But that’s still two and a half months.
( And assuming there are 4 weeks in each month and I write 5 days of the week, I missed about 50 days of writing. And had I written 1k each day like I tend to… that’d be about 50k. Hey, I guess math is useful! )
There are writers out there who spend years researching their novels. And sometimes that’s great, because it pays off and makes the novel incredibly lifelike. And sometimes, the novel never gets written because the writer is too busy trying to make it realistic that they never get around to writing it.
Because sometimes it’s, oooh, shiny squirrel!, and now your brilliant masterpiece is never written.
So: does research do more harm than good?
Should we, as writers, write and then research? Because, yeah, research is great! If you put a pie in your novel about ancient Egypt, is that incorrect? If you include dryads in your Celtic mythology novel, is that incorrect? If you call a Westie-Poodle a Pestie is that okay, or should it be Westie-Poo? ( The answers are, in order, ‘no’, ‘yes’, and ‘I don’t actually know but I think it should be Pestie.’ )
Or should we research and then write?
I don’t know. I think it’s up to the writer.