Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's All In The Research

Mention the word 'research' to some people and they will look at you with frightened eyes, their faces draining of any colour. But for me, research is an integral and fascinating part of the writing process. I suppose having come from a background of a nursing and degree education, research for me is like water off a ducks back. The other thing, of course, is that I'm also rather nosey; I like to know what's going on and other people's lives, hobbies, quirks, warts and all, intrigue me.

It pays in writing to have an inquiring  mind: to know where to look, who to approach and how to approach them. Having good contacts and a professional manner certainly help, but you also need to know what you want to research and what, at the end of it all, you want to do with it.

Recently, I secured a three book deal to write about WW1 in three local areas with Pen & Sword Books. Yes, it was in a totally different direction to what I normally write about, and it provided me with somewhat of a challenge, but diversity in writing is what it is all about and as a freelance writer you have to be prepared to write about subjects that you know very little about. Believe me - by the time you've finished your research you'll be a mini expert on it!

Researching does not have to be stuffy, formal or mind-boggling boring - or it shouldn't be. If it is, then you're approaching it from the wrong angle. If you're finding the research boring, imagine what the reader will think when they read the finished product. Your boredom will shine through like a beacon of doom!

So, if you need to do some research for your current article, novel, short story or non-fiction book, then do it with enthusiasm and inject some life into your writing project which will grab your readers' attention and keep them reading on.

Happy researching and writing!



Wendy's Writing said...

I never used to like the idea of research but since writing more historical novels, I now love it.

Julie P said...

It can become very addictive, though, can't it, Wendy! It's difficult, sometimes, to stay on track! I'm finding that with the 1914 - 1918 newspaper research on microfilm I'm doing. They are just so interesting to read. I have to remind myself that it's the WW1 bits I need and not so much of the other stuff - although the other stuff will feature a little in my books!