Research is both my biggest strength and my biggest weakness; for me it is one of the best parts of being a writer. I spend a lot of time researching to make sure I have everything clear. I once researched blacksmithing tools and jargon to better understand a walk through character who would only appear in one scene.
I am part of a writer’s circle called The Inkslingers and amongst these fine writers I am often the butt of an ongoing joke that they rarely see me writing…I am always lost in research.
Many will argue that one of the benefits of writing in the fantasy genre is that you don’t need to research anything, you can imagine everything and people will just fill in what they need or accept that in your world certain things apply or don’t apply that we take for granted in the real world.
I am not one of those people. I want to make fantasy real and if I don’t understand something I can’t write about it including how to shoe horses?
Welcome the internet. I do most of initial research online and it meets most of needs.
Occasionally I’ll have a subject that requires a more academic knowledge and then I’ll turn to the library.
One of the biggest perks of being a writer is having a professional reason to access national libraries. Some of these buildings are just so beautiful that the very experience of simply being allowed to enter them is humbling and the texts they house are often very old and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to touch and read them.
How do you divide your time? Is research important to you and why?