As a romance suspense writer I find that research is a valuable part of my journey to involve the reader into the story.
My first book Dreams of Reality, which consisted of a woman being apart of an illegal drug experiment.
I knew I had to find the right drug that would impact memory loss.
In the second book, Stone’s Revenge, I had to research about serial killers and how their acts impacted family members and the community as a whole. I also had to do some psychological research on child abuse and parenting. I wanted readers to feel William Stone, my main character to not only hate him, but care about him as well. Research of these topics provided a great deal of understanding of William’s pain and how much he suffered as a child.
I always find it interesting when people are compelled to tell me they felt I had suffered abuse by my parents because I wrote William’s pain too well.
But I have to admit it was all because of my research I had done.
The most controversial research I had done in my stories was Mistaken Identity.
In this story I had to study hetero-paternal superfecundation. (yeah, say that three times fast.) The climax (or the crap hit the fan moment) all depended on this one factor and I clearly knew in order for my readers understand and not be confused, I had to get my own clear understand how this medically phenomenon can possibly happen to a woman.
I was pleased at the response from my readers. I had people all over the country calling me, writing letters and shouting out as they realized what hetero-paternal superfecundation was and how the character had come to the conclusion this had happened to her.
That was an awesome journey to take with my readers and I hope in my upcoming books I can take many many more.
I love research and I love wrapping the main plot around the research and using the research to strengthen the story for my readers.
Places to research
Online, of course, is the favorite. Using Wikipedia.org, but just be careful that the research you’re gleaning from them has been verified by a real source. Most people don’t know that the Wikipedia is a public contribution open source document.
Your local library. Resources and facts abound at that old building you drive by everyday. Try it out and let yourself go. Plus, If you’re a writer and you don’t have a library card, I have to insult you and say, you don’t take your writing very serious.
Groups and Organizations. Whether attending meetings on the subject you’re reading or reading newsletter or blog, you are gathering facts all the time and groups and organizations usually drill out a whole bunch of them.
Schools and Universities. A lot of people don’t know but as a tax payer to your city, county and state you can audit a class at your local vocational school or university. Use this opportunity to talk with the professor or network with the students as well. Pick their brains, but first take the time to read up on the subject before you completely bog them down with questions.
With that, I wish you happy researching!
Lastly: Please don’t look at all this as a job, but as a journey to make your story better.
To get your copies of any of the books mentioned above, please go to:
(If you have other researching tips, please add them to the comments and if you’ve read the books above or others, please comment about how you felt the research was presented. thanks )