The past couple of months, I have immersed myself in research for my newest YA novel. I’d like to count time spent doing this as time spent “writing”, but that can be a dangerous conclusion to make. Hours spent researching, however helpful, are hours I’m not putting ink to paper for my book. That said, research is an imperative aspect to the writing process.
I found a great article at Writer’s Digest, called “How to Use Fact in Your Fiction” One quote I liked, by author David Hewson, was, “The reason we use truth in fiction is so we can tell a bigger, better lie.” Believability is key, even in the most far-fetched story. Facts woven in just the right way help accomplish this goal. The trick, if the goal is to write a novel in a timely manner, is to not get too swept away in all those interesting facts, and actually write the story.
Personally, I try to balance it out. Research some, write some, research, write, etc. etc. If I find myself in a good writing flow and a “fact” holds me up, I use a good old highlighter pen or Word’s highlighter feature to mark where I need to go back to later. I’m also looking forward to NaNoWriMo in November, when I’ll be spending every minute I can just writing.