Fiction Research: Imagination Wins

Imagination
When writing fiction, use your imagination first, then research later

I’m pleased you’re enjoying fiction week; I am too. :-)

A couple of new short story writers have asked me about research. Do you research fiction? How much? What if you want to write about something you know nothing about?

Over the years, I’ve become quite good at research. By “good” I mean that I don’t use researching as an excuse to goof off. My rule of thumb: I have a ten-minute limit on research time for a specific question I MUST know before writing — by the way, these “must know” questions are few.

Your imagination beats research every time — indeed, too much research can kill your inspiration. Fiction is all about emotion. It’s your job to get your readers feeling. So you need too feel, first.

Fiction Frenzy Kindle Fiction

You can write about anything without doing a mile of research, just by relying on your imagination.

As I said here, Novelists’ Craft: Writing What You Don’t Know | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:

Please take this to heart: all writing is discovery.

Let’s say you want to write a thriller about a hit man (or a hit woman.) This will be a real challenge for you if you’re anything like me, and are squeamish about using snail bait, or swatting a spider.

Nevertheless, if I had a great idea for a book, and the main character happened to kill people for a living, I could write it. And so could you.”

You could write a your hit man book without doing any research for the first draft. You’d research specific queries — brand of gun, weight of gun, how to conceal a weapon, how to find someone etc — in your second draft.

Write first. Research anything you need to research once your first draft is done. Your imagination wins. You can imagine yourself into any character, and any situation. Feel;-)

photo credit: orangeacid via photopin cc

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Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.

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About Angela Booth

Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.

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