Heyo! I’m S. M. Boyce, author of Lichgates and the rest of the books in the Grimoire Saga.
Today I’m going to give you some pointers on how to do research that is crucial to your story. Without proper research, a story will lack what’s called verisimilitude—the tidbits of real-life that make it all seem real. These elements allow readers to suspend belief and fall headfirst into your tale.
While it’s crucial to research and understand your world (be it a fantasy land or modern Earth), how you approach research usually depends on your writing style.
The writing process is different for everyone. Some people get an idea and start writing instantly. Others, like me, outline the entire thing before starting on the first paragraph. If you are the type that outlines, research is going to be much easier for you and you’ll be able to get most of it out of the way before you begin to write.
For many, research can be an arduous task, but for some it can actually be an inspiration. So, for those of you who don’t outline, the research might help you fill in the gaps of your story, effectively building an impromptu outline in your head.
Tip #1: Chunk it!
When you research, I suggest you lump topics together and work through them one-by-one. So, if you are researching the rainforests of the world, types of horses, and a foreign culture, work through each topic separately so that you can keep your facts straight in your mind.
Tip #2: Stay Organized
Notes are extremely important when doing research. Some prefer the notecard method when taking notes; others prefer a big notebook or the freedom of a word document. Whatever your method is, stick to it and stay as organized as possible.
Scrivener, a program used for writing, actually lets you keep all your research notes with your story. For those of you who don’t use this program, you may want to look into it. Though it has a heck of a learning curve, it’s incredibly useful once you get the hang of it. You can do just about every step of the writing process from this one program.
Stay focused, Boyce
Back on the subject of researching. Sorry.
It’s important to save the locations of your resources so that you can refer back to them. Most internet browsers will let you create a folder in your bookmark tab. Do this and create one just for the links to research sources for the book you are working on. If you are using non-digital sources, keep a list of the materials you’ve used with your notes.
As you work through each resource, label the notes you take so that you know where they came from. This will help later if you need to refresh your memory on certain facts.
Even though you are doing most of your research before you write the book, you will likely have to go back to it at some point during your writing. Research is an important part of writing. Even if you are making up a world of your own, you will need to research one thing or another. This process is what helps bring our stories to life and it’s also what gives our stories some amount of credibility in the reader’s mind.
Let’s open the floor. What are some of your best researching tips?
“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. – Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Heritage (#3) – Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) – Available Fall 2014
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG13
More details about the author