Showing posts with label research for writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research for writers. Show all posts

Tips for Researching

Whether writing an article, post or novel research is vital. Research should be logical and organized for writing, citation, and avoiding any hint of plagiarism. 

The rule of research is that a great deal more knowledge will be gained than used for your piece; but a solid foundation gives authenticity to your writing and your voice.

1. Writing about a general or familiar subject, or if the setting is in your hometown, the research required will be less time consuming.

2. Research has a pre-writing role.

3. Consider the areas you need to delve into, for example, era, community, lifestyles, specialized jobs, area employment, health issues, and education.

4. Simplify your delivery without dumbing down the facts, and putting your reader off by an impersonal, authoritative voice.

5. Avoid exposition. It’s better to weave in details and keep the reader’s interest.

How do we gather the resources and knowledge needed to research a topic?  It takes a lot of reading, searching, and selection. Here are some ideas:

• Investigate your topic through web-searches.

• Gather a list of books, documents, and oral histories to explore.

• Use professional journals, magazines, and pod-casts.

• Take research trips, tour specific areas, and consult experts.

• Keep a journal for your research, resources and materials.

• Be sure to verify each source and to confirm its credibility. Not all sources are created equal. Work to prove credibility through established works that recognize industry professionals in the field you are studying.

• Research material requires analysis and interpretation to be effective in your piece. Choices await as we glean points specific to our focus.

Dive in, plan-ahead and have fun!
Research takes up-front time; let’s begin while working on other projects.

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors.  Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines. 
“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”
“Explore, Dream, Discover”

Help For Writers

A number of years ago I attended the meetings of a group as part of the research necessary for a novel I was writing at that time. Today, after all that time, someone asked me how I had found them. I did admit they were research.

As a writer I am often interested in learning new things, meeting different people and exploring new places. All of these things have found their way into my writing in some way or another.

Often writers use books for their research, and lots can be found on the internet, but perhaps your best information will come from someone.

Credibility can be improved by taking the time to meet with people who work in the careers you are writing about. For example: you have a character who is hurt and admitted to the hospital. Finding someone who works in admitting at your local ER can give you an insight into how things will be handled that might be missed otherwise. Or perhaps a nurse can advise you. Even though we consider them minor characters, the lawyer, the police officer, the teacher, or the barista, each of them will have a reader that will either resonate with what you've written or write you off.

The process of research can take many other forms as well. Taking photographs and studying pictures of an area or group of people can give you insight. Drawing or sketching rocks, trees, skylines, etc may give you a reference that will add a new dimension to your story. Geography and climate can also add a tremendous amount to your work as well.

So how can you really expand your insight? Get inside the community your character lives in. Visit laundry mats and diners. Listen to conversations between real people. Ask questions of those who work in the fields your characters do. Read manuals on equipment, plant and bird guides for the area, and geology reports. Visit graveyards, community historic buildings and museums.

Then take your writing to a new level and see how real your entire world becomes.


D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook

Why Writers Need to Become Time Aware

By W. Terry Whalin   @terrywhalin As a writer, I want to increase my writing and ability to publish (in any format). I’m basically saying I ...