Stages of Writing a Book: Post #2 (Research)

In this video, Janet Syas Nitsick and I discuss research when you’re writing your book.  Some people like to  research before they start writing their book, and others like to start the book and research as they go along.  You need to do the best method that works for you.

Possible avenues of research is looking things up on the Internet, going to the library, reading books, going in person to a place, and talking to someone who knows the topic well.  Sometimes if you visit a place, you can take pictures or take a tour.

One thing to watch is how much research you’re doing.  You want to do some, of course, but you don’t want to do so much of it that you forget to write the book. 🙂


  1. One of the good things about writing paranormal romance is that you get to make up your own world. There’s not as much research involved. But I remember having to research the Rain Forest for my novella, Search for the Vampires’ Curse. It was actually pretty interesting. And I had to look for something in the Rain Forest that the shero could get bitten by but not die. I did some research and found a nasty spider. Most people wouldn’t have known if I had made up some spider, but there would probably be that one reader who would know about the Rain Forest and call me out on it. 🙂

    That was cool that you mentioned The Langoliers. That’s one of my favorite Stephen King stories. When they did the movie (or maybe it was a mini series), it was the closest to the book than any I’ve ever seen. A lot of movies stray really far from the book, but the Langoliers was almost exactly like the book. And…I’m rambling. LOL

    1. Yep, there will always be that one person who knows. LOL You can’t escape it. That’s interesting about the spider. Some things are fun to learn, aren’t they?

      I love The Langoliers. It’s definitely my favorite. The idea was fresh and unique, and it was the kind of creepy I love. Not gory but high in suspense. I also loved the ending. I will say one thing for Stephen King. He can deliver a satisfying ending to his work. I like to watch it on Netflix, but I originally saw it on the SciFi Channel in two parts around 2002. (I only remember this because my husband was stationed in Florida at the time and we had two cats.)

  2. ronfritsch says:

    As a one-time practicing attorney, I’m amazed by the obvious lack of legal research in all kinds of “realistic” fiction. (As Lauralynn Elliott would probably agree, fantasy writers are free to write their own laws, Lucky them.) A recent popular film based on a “true story” concludes with an attention-grabbing courtroom trial that could only take place in the minds of Hollywood screenwriters. On the other hand, since the good character wins and the bad guy loses big, and the movie was overall enjoyable, I guess I shouldn’t complain.

    1. A few months ago, I was watching a TV show I love, and a scene took place in the 1990s where the characters talked about how much they love Harry Potter books. I don’t know if anyone gave the writers feedback letting them know Harry Potter books weren’t out then, but they were able to get the episode aired on ABC Family so it went passed a lot of people. I can only imagine the complaints I would get if I tried to pull that off in a book.

      I think TV and movie writers are given more grace than book writers are because when I check out their reviews, I don’t see stuff like this pop up. But I see little tidbits like that get mentioned in 1-star reviews on books. Maybe people who watch movies have a different set of expectations than those who read books.

      1. ronfritsch says:

        I think you’re right, Ruth. The people who watch fiction and those who read it seem to have different expectations about what’s “true.”

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