Research is an important part of the writing process and there are various ways of researching your project. Today though, I want to talk about some Do’s and Don’ts of researching.

I’m currently working on a project that is heavy on the research end, it is fueled by research and therefore I can’t start writing until I have some facts in place. As I go through this process, it sometimes becomes difficult to stay focused and I find myself digressing from the main topic which in itself can be a good and a bad thing. That’s why I’ve decided to share some do’s and don’ts of researching. Read on below.

  1. Don’t forget you are a storyteller and not a researcher:  You are first and foremost a storyteller and not a researcher. While digging into researching you might find yourself bogged down by too many facts. I advise you to use that research, combined with your imagination to propel your story to greatness, find the twists and turns. Yes, even when telling stories inspired by Real Events, you have to allow your imagination engine to work.
  2. Research the emotions: As storytellers we are in the emotional delivery business. This means it is our job to not only research the facts, but to research on the emotional beats to accompany the facts.  
  3. Find Your WHY: Why is this story important to you? Why do you want to tell that story? Why does it have to be you to tell that story? Finding a personal connection to the material you are researching will help give you a stronger angle.
  4. Remember to apply the rule of Cause and Effect: (This happens and then that happens) How does what you have discovered now in your research affect the next part of your story?
  5. Every Research has an End: Conclude the research before you stop being a storyteller and you become a historian/Anthropologist/ArcheologistJ. If you’re like me and you love research you might end up forgetting that you’re meant to be writing. You should research just enough to help you get on with the story and you can always come back for more information or you can get an expert in that particular topic to read your work and help give it a polish.

Hope these pointers inspire you on your writing journey.

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