Sunday, May 1, 2016

5 Research Tips For Authors

If you’ve started writing your book, you may already have the title, plot, characters, and chapter outlines. However, there’s one more thing that you will need to do during the writing process, and that’s research.  

Research is necessary if you want an authentic and well-written book. Nothing is worse than having your readers tell you that your book contains incorrect facts, dates and other information.  (To read our other blog post, "Before You Write – Research!", click HERE

A good book has three dimensional, believable characters, conflict, a climax, and a resolution to the conflict. Research will help you fulfill these and other elements needed to develop a successful page-turner.

So, what exactly should you research? Where do you find information? Here are 5 tips to help you get started:  

1. Find books that have been successful in the genre that you have selected for your book. 

Analyze the books by looking at what the characters do in the story, how they react, what they say and how they say it. Read book reviews to find out what makes these books so popular.

2. Learn about the personality traits of people. 

This will help you to write about the characters in your book, particularly if they are fictional. Learning a bit of psychology may help.  By learning how people think and act, you may be able to bring more to the book than your own perceptions. 

3. Learn how things works, such as the legal system, the business industry and school systems

If you are writing fiction, you will need to research even more.  For example, if you are writing a murder mystery, you need to know police procedures as well as what happens after a person is charged with a crime.

4. Learn how to make your dialogue flow. Good dialogue has rhythm. 

Once again, look at successful books to see how those authors handle dialogue. Realistic dialog is very important when writing a book. 

5. Determine which point of view you want to use to write the book.  

There are several points of view your book can take. For instance, you can choose first person narrative, which is an easier style to write but is limited to the thoughts and actions of the main character, or narrator of the story.  

You can also choose third person and still write from the point of view of the main protagonist.  When you are writing from the third person, you can also delve into the point of view from other characters in the book.

When conducting research, some authors go as far to take a class in something that they want to learn about so that they can be better prepared for their book.  What this is commendable, don’t get bogged down with research. For the most part, you can find out quite a bit of information online.  Enjoy your research, but don’t forget to write your book!

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