Any author intent on writing a book will have to do research at some point in time. Admittedly, not every book requires research. However, if you are writing about a location, profession or even a time that you are unfamiliar with, your ability to acquire the necessary research materials will determine the success you can expect to have in your literary efforts. This is especially true if you aim to inject authenticity and accuracy into your content.
Despite common assumptions, if authors take advantage of the array of tools available to them today, research doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. A common pitfall for anyone thinking about writing a book is allowing oneself to become so bogged down with their research materials that they never get any writing done.
Tips on How to Gather Research Materials?
Research is the friend that every author needs in order to craft a book worth his or her readers’ time. Rather than a chore to be avoided, research should be embraced for the positive impact it can have on the quality of one’s work. Here are some tips that might prove useful to anyone struggling to collect the necessary research materials to develop their story:
Find a Librarian
In this age of information technology, traditional libraries have been abandoned in favor of the internet. As a result, librarians are often overlooked. More than mere administrators of libraries, librarians are amazing sources of information.
Librarians are typically very skilled research professionals that are not only knowledgeable about the wealth of information found in their books, but they are also very cognizant of the power of the internet. A librarian can help you find the information you are looking for faster than a Google search. More importantly, they can answer very specific questions or at the very least guide you to the resources you require. Finding a librarian to aid you in your research might be one of the most important tasks you could perform when writing a book.
In addition, keep in mind that libraries these days have more than books – they have newspapers and photographs on archive, as well as rare collections that can be of use in your research.
Know Your Questions
Before you engage in the necessary research for writing a book, you must first determine the purpose behind your efforts. Are you studying politics in medieval times based on you book’s setting? Do you need to delve into the art scene of past generations because of the prominence of that world in the plot of your book?
To do effective and focused research, you must first determine the questions you want to answer. More often than not you will need to have a clear idea of the story you want to tell. This will allow you to determine those most important questions whose answers you can only acquire through research.
The best way to engage in research is to immerse yourself in the environments around which your research revolves. That is to say, if you have plans to pen an adventure set on water, why not take a trip out to the high seas to better understand the world around which your story will revolve.
Do not be afraid to visit the settings of your book. You should even try conversing with people whose personalities, lives and cultures you want to mimic in your stories. By experiencing the life you wish to portray in your book, you’ll not only be able to write scenes with more authenticity, but you’ll also more effectively immerse your readers into the depths of your story.
Use the Internet
The internet is the most powerful resource in the world. It can provide you with information in droves on any topic you might wish to study. It’s worth noting, however, that because of the open nature of the internet, you must be careful about the research methods you use and the information you adopt. Be sure to restrict your research to trustworthy sources.
Authors tend to treat research as the monstrous activity they have little choice but to perform when writing a book. Having that mindset is a mistake; there is value in doing research. The more authentic a story is, the more impactful your book can be.