Information for Our Writer Friends

The Uphill Climb

Sometimes in your uphill climb you can’t see the forest for the trees!

What am I referring to? Research. Many, many years ago, research was confined to the printed page in books, encyclopedias, and the memories of those who lived through or participated in the subject. But today, research has been taken to new levels. We can ‘surf the net’ to find articles, blogs, ads, and items that pertain to whatever it is that we are looking into. But how do we know what is true and accurate? It now comes down to how do we research the research? We want to get it right but sometimes we have no way to verify what is being told to us…regardless as to where the information comes from or how it was presented.

One way to verify your information is to cross-reference it with some other related facts. If your subject came up in one source, it may be referred to in another article or subject. This is especially true when researching historical figures. I was researching one historical figure who had kidnapped another historical figure…or so the article claimed. So when I researched information on the kidnapped person, it referred back to the one who did the kidnapping. It cross-referenced the incident and verified the dates and places.

Here’s an example: I am currently writing two books. One takes place in a foreign country. To make matters even more difficult, it takes place in a different time period – hundreds of years ago. The research I have been doing to get the story correct has given me a headache. I have exhausted our libraries and the online information is sketchy at best. In order to take this one step further, I may have to contact someone in that particular country to get some answers. A museum or history group. With the use of computers (our technical friends/enemies), we can contact people all over the world and find answers. But since I don’t speak the language, I may have fewer answers sent back to me. We shall see!

So if you find you have run into a writing research blockcade – don’t give up. Share your problems with your writing friends here at Maybe between all of us, we can think up some ‘out of the box’ solutions! There is usually a way to get accurate information, but you must be persistent. Don’t give up and Keep Writing!!


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