• Nicholas Bright

Be a researcher

Researching is a skill that takes time to develop and a lot of patience. I think for me, it is hard to want to research because of all the years spent researching subjects that just bored me to death in High School and College. Yet, as a writer, it has becoming one of my favorite things to do for any project that I am working on. I have become an encyclopedia for randomness.

So how does one become good at research? You research...

Cliche? Pretty much.

But there isn't much to it. In the military we had a running joke, if you will. If you want to get better at pushups, just do more pushups.

Yet, it isn't just search willy nilly and you find the perfect answer every time. Here are a few things I do when when researching a specific topic as a writer.

  1. Change key word searches

  2. Cross reference EVERY article

  3. Fact check as much as possible

  4. Find something obscure and mundane to research and try to become an expert in

  5. Don't stop after finding two sources

When it comes to research, I relate it to world building. You may only present or need the reader to know a finite amount, but you as the writer need to know much, much more in order to convince your reader that you know your stuff.

One of my favorite examples of that is Mary Robinette Kowal and her Lady Astronaut series. The amount of knowledge she has in regards to how using the bathroom in zero g is HUGE! It is the iceberg theory, the mole hill metaphor. You may only show that little bit, but your knowledge is so much more.

I challenge you to start thinking of yourself as an expert when you research by holding yourself to a higher standard of information being obtained.

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