Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

How much research is enough research before you start writing?


How do you decide when you’ve done enough research on a project and you’ve reached the point when you’re ready to write? Or is there a distinct threshold or starting point when you research a writing project?

I think, personally, there is no fixed or set guideline for when, what, or how much to research before you write. I also think you cannot compartmentalize research and writing completely. For example, let’s say I’ve been given the job to write ad copy about a company’s specific LCD mount — those stands and mounting support brackets used to set up or hold up an LCD screen. What might I need to research to write the ad copy.

Well, of course, I would want to know the technical specs of that particular mount. I also would want the company to tell me how their LCD mount compares to similar mounts by other manufacturers. And I would need also to know what brands of LCD screens the mount may work with, and NOT work with.

At that point, I would read the research materials I had and make a stab at writing the ad copy, or starting to write the ad copy. I would have sufficient material to think of benefits this LCD mount offers buyers.

After writing the first draft of my copy, I would look it over, rethink the project, and at that point I might find some “holes” or missing information which requires more research.

How do you work the old research/write/research/write cycle when you’re doing a writing project? Is it easier for you to research and write fiction, ad copy, non-fiction, or what sort of writing? Why is that particular writing easier or better for you than others? Tell us, please.
[tags]writing and research, writing ad copy, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]