Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Research for Writers


I blog mostly about writing, reading, or publishing fiction because I’m mostly concerned with fiction—it helps me get to the truth… 

Writers' Research

Image Courtesy of Mikhail Lavrenov ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/miklav

As Stephen King said: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”

There are, however, many books we find a need to read that are non-fiction.

Also, publishing non-fiction calls for a different way of promotion.

And, the writer of non-fiction almost always has a substantial amount of research to do.

Still, there are many forms of “research”—gathering facts from published sources or professionals; going through certain experiences, to live the research; and, using creative imagination, in a disciplined way, to explore various situations

I’m sure a few of you could list other forms of research.

So, digging through the bookmarks I use for my posts, I pulled one out from back in September from Publishing Perspectives5 Steps to Increasing Your Book’s Marketability with Research.

I’ll list the headings of the steps from the article here (along with my comments) and let you take that link to the full article

1. Establish a System for Recording Your Research

This is necessary for fiction or non-fiction. Though, “recording” could be done with many different tools, one of which just might be your memory—there are folks who can remember reams of facts

2. Use Reputable Sources

You might first want to consider what “reputable” means—“well-thought-of, highly regarded, respected, well respected, respectable, of (good) repute, prestigious, established; reliable, dependable, trustworthy”—and, realize that basing reputation on some of those synonyms could lead you to false information

3. Synthesize the Information You Have Learned

I can think of a few other things, along with synthesizing, that you can do with your information—arrange, blend, harmonize, orchestrate, and even symphonize

4. Don’t Try to Include Every Fact and Figure You Uncover

Unless, of course, the situation demands that you, somehow, do include every fact and figure :-)

5. Brag About Your Astonishingly In-Depth Research

Or, if more appropriate, just mention the work you did; or, let folks know how you turned your research into your own unique creation; or, which sometimes is called for, state your own truth, in spite of all that research
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4 responses to “Research for Writers

  1. milliethom December 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    This is such an important topic for writers. I write historical fiction, so i do a lot of research – which I thoroughly enjoy. Your post is really interesting and useful. Thank you, Alex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alexander M Zoltai December 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you, Millie, for your gracious comment and for visiting :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Salvatore Pope Ritondo December 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Fine post I have shared it on Facebook. Such an important topic Alex!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai December 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Well, Sal, I’m sure you, with all your research experience, could have written a fine post, too

      Hope your flu has vanished :-)

      Liked by 1 person

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