NaNoWriMo Prep Friday: Week 2

It’s Friday again here, which means it’s time for more NaNoWriMo Prep. Are you excited? I’m excited. NaNoWriMo is getting close with 3 weeks until it begins it’s time to start getting things in order. I won’t go into the long spiel I went through last week, but NaNoWriMo can easily go awry if you aren’t properly prepared. Even those who intend to wing it need ideas.

Research is Your Friend and Enemy
I’ve found the farther I get into planning a novel, the closer I get to finding details. Unfortunately with details, I inevitably am getting closer to the dreaded research. That means digging deep into the plausibility of various aspects in a story. There are so many things that someone can presume about a situation that aren’t actually true. We take our own presumptions in with various things in life and the research portion of a novel will either confirm or destroy those presumptions. Either way, you will be doused with more facts than you can possibly imagine. At least you will once you get over the fact that the NSA can see all your strange searches. I wonder what they will make of my search on cauterizing wounds amongst other things I prefer not even saying. Research is necessary to get all the information straight in your story which will help with believability.

What people don’t tell you about researching for your story is that it can lead you down a well at time. You get so caught up learning new things that have ties to other topics. Before you know it you will find yourself researching those periphery topics that better inform your main topic. You will fall down the well. You will spiral. And the best part about it all is that you won’t even realize that you are are doing it. It will just become a fountain of knowledge that you will feel your life is now infinitely better. Even more important you will find that with your new knowledge your story will be more complete.

All research is well and good for use in your story, but you have to remember that it is entirely about balance. You may have acquired a trove of tidbits for authenticity, but very often your story doesn’t ever need to see them in the text. Thus, while research makes your story feel more complete because you will be properly informed about what is plausible, it doesn’t often translate well.

Where I’m At
After a week’s more of work, I’m even further into my outline. I did go through a rough patch as I realized I didn’t actually know how my characters were going to get from one set of events to the next. After a little bit of digging deep, I dug out of that tunnel only to run into yet another roadblock. That is the name of the game when it comes to planning a novel. Thankfully, I’m getting closer to the heart of the story.

What is the strangest research query you’ve had? How is your NaNoPrep going?

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Prep Friday: Week 2

  1. I love the concept you mention about the heart of the story. You described perfectly my issues – going down the well on the researching and connecting everything up. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m really bad about doing this thing I call flash research. Which is just fancy lazy pants terms for researching as I go. Thankfully it doesn’t come up very often, since it does slow me down a little, but I have no idea what I’m going to need until it comes up. My outlining is pretty bare bones. The good news is that I don’t fall into the research hole because I might literally be in the middle of typing a word when I run to Google and I’m anxious to get back to the story.

    • Research is so dangerous like that. I spent 40 minutes last night digging into ftl travel. One good thing about me is if I didn’t research before writing, I won’t do it til it’s draft is complete.

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