I must admit research for the novels I’ve written so far has been quite limited. A medical tidbit here and there, something about weather or location. Maybe subconsciously I’ve shied away from too much research because I’m scared of getting something terribly wrong and everyone saying what a silly-billy I am 🙂
My last wip was set in Hollywood and this in itself scared me. The story that I wanted to tell HAD to be set here but I was terrified any reader (or editor) would be able to tell that I’ve never been anywhere NEAR the place. The verdict is still out on this because I haven’t heard from the editor whether it is any good yet.
But in the meantime, I’m starting a new novel (or two). Research for one included a bit of a Google about cat illnesses last night and today I’m moving on to reading about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I’m two chapters into the story that is going to quite heavily involve an old man with some form of dementia. Not sure yet whether he’ll have Alzheimer’s or not but I think it’s time to open a few books and do some online research on the disease.
This got me to thinking about how much research I need to do right now. Do I need to find out every last thing about Alzheimer’s right away or should I just dive right in to write the book and stop to research as questions come up? I’m not sure if one way is better or the other. Even if I do some reading now, there’ll probably be some things I need to find out about as I go along.
So tonight, I’m going to start with some vague reading around the subject and maybe look for specifics as they arise.
But I’m curious? How do you research? Does it totally consume you before you start a novel or do you dive right in and pause to research only when absolutely necessary?