C.M.Guido Presents: Research, a Rant

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By now, I’ve made it open that I’m in the works of two books. Both of which require research.

And while research can be time consuming and tedious, it can also help elevate a story and enrich it.

At least, it does for me. Depending on the genre that’s being catered to, a writer may not require any at all and rely on one’s imagination. And that’s perfectly fine!

Conducting research reminds me of my Farmingdale days. I kind of miss engrossing my time buried in references for papers. I used to drown out hours poring myself after classes into different books and websites with a bottle of water/cup of coffee, and a good instrumental on my iPod.

Because, I really do love it.

Well, now I can immerse myself in it for the sake of my debut novel, which I’m putting the goal out here now–I’m looking for it to be finished before December.

And then, I was watching/listening to Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass for Creative Writing (which I cannot recommend enough). I had finally reached her segment on “Research” which is a little further down in her lesson plan.

It’s great to do in order to make the story believable, chewing on facts to be molded in such a way that it doesn’t make a story read like a textbook. Dry, mealy…I’m looking for flavor. I’m hoping to give my readers a surge of fantastic ones for them to savor as they travel on the journeys I’m putting both them and my characters on.

So, it’s time to take Ms. Atwood’s advice: conduct my research after, so that my writing isn’t bogged down with flipping back to fact check.

When I heard that, let me tell you, I blinked. I blinked because she was absolutely right. It was exactly the lesson I needed at that moment. While I’m having fun doing all of it, I’m pausing the writing process from continuing because I’m fearful of getting it wrong, and perhaps even at risk of losing my flow.

So, while I’m researching the 1930s-1970s for Ruth, and Spain, Italy, and Central America for my Golden City, I need to step back and just write.

And, really, there’s no wrong way to write. To study material before/after the first draft of a novel has been done. Whatever is more comfortable to the writer, as they’re the ones sitting behind the computer, or wielding that pen like the mighty sword it is.

The choice is yours :). And, to anyone who is researching for their own work, that it’s ever fruitful and enlightening!

All the best,

C.M. Guido

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