Posted in Writing

Research: It gives your story Authenticity


Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m making some major changes on one of my stories. You know the WIP I said was done? Yeah, well I had a major epiphany and I’m changing it. I want it to be that good. So, I’m hoping it doesn’t take me a long time to put it all back together, but we shall see. I have a good feeling about this story. So wish me luck, okay?

 Photo credit: Anton Vakulenko via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

We’re getting a lot of snow today so I’m crossing my fingers for a snow day tomorrow because then I’ll get a lot of writing done.  I don’t know about you but the holidays wreak havoc on my schedule. I just can’t seem to maintain a routine. Part of it is because my kids’ lives get busier with Christmas concerts and parties, but another reason is because there’s always some surprise event that we have to prepare for or something along those lines.

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But enough about me. 🙂 I thought today I would talk about something that’s very important when writing your story and that is research.

Photo credit: Melinda Stuart via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Research? Why is that important? I’m so glad you asked. The reason is because good research makes your story authentic. I know what you’re thinking. It’s fiction. I can create my story any way I want to. Yes and No.  Authenticity is important even in fiction. If your story isn’t believable, you’re going to lose your reader.

So let’s say you’re writing a story about a man who climbed the Canadian Alps. To start your research you could use the internet or Wikipedia and you’d find a great deal of superficial information. To give your story authenticity you’d want to talk to someone who’s actually climbed them. They could give you  blow by blow details of their experience because they actually did it. See how much better your story will be?

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Let’s say you’re writing a story about a murder and you have to make sure you get the police procedures correct. That’s when you need to call in the professionals. I have a contact at the State Police Post and I call her whenever I have a procedural question. She always sets the story straight for me.

If I’m dealing with an emotional response to a trauma, I speak with a number of psychologists I know who provide the ground work for the victim’s emotional reaction. Again, see how much more authentic my story will be?

So when you start out on this incredible journey to write that awesome story, remember to put together your research team. There are many people who are willing to help you if you just ask. Establish relationships with those people, they’ll keep your story authentic. Trust me. 🙂

Social Media has made it much easier to establish contacts with professionals in many different fields. It is an incredible tool for writers. Have you heard this is one of the best times to be a writer? It’s true. We can make connections so much faster and easier than we used to.  Our stories will be so much better because we invested time and energy in the research. It’s true.

Photo via FirmBee via Visual Hunt


What are your thoughts on research? Have any great sources I haven’t thought of? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!