Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Are you a researcher or a writer? Or are you both?

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Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, chances are you have to do at least a little bit of research. Is research something you enjoy doing? Where do you do most of your research?

The good old Internet has changed a lot of the options writers have for doing research. Some of the information which used to require phone calls, faxes, even extensive travel, is now available to me as I sit here in the recliner with my good old laptop and Tablemate. When I first started kicking the idea around for the Western novel I excerpted here, I made a trip to Denver, Colorado, and spent a couple of days researching in their Western History Collection — one of the best such collection in the world, by the way.

Today, I went to the Denver Public Library website, went to their Western History Collection, and found some of the materials I worked with back then — only they were at my nimble (?) fingertips here at home now.

But the title I’ve put on this post asks another question: Are you happier doing research or doing the actual writing. Personally, I can easily spend days even weeks researching the historical setting or technical background for a story rather than getting on the keyboard and writing the story. I’ve often wished I had pursued a career track that led to being a librarian, or perhaps an archivist.

I have friends who go nuts doing ANY research and would rather make things up completely as they go along, based on light reading and conversations with other friends to sketch in whatever details they need. I envy them, in many ways, because pulling the trigger on research and firing those shots of written words is much easier for them than for me.

But what about you? Does your writing demand detailed research? Do you enjoy research or not? Tell us about your experiences and your preferences. We’d like to hear.
[tags]research, writing, Internet writing, Internet research, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]

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