Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…John 15:16a
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Seek and Ye Shall Find
Research is the ingredient that helps to bring realism to the grand idea that is your novel, or in the words of Zora Neal Huston, “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
Research not only brings realism to your story, it also stretches you and your reader. It will, only if the research is correct and relevant.
Relevant: having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue.
So how do you begin? With a plan.
Think – What do you already know about the subject? Create mind map adding avenues of possibilities to explore. Engage those well-versed in the subject matter. Add to the mind map.
Consider – What is the conclusion you want your story to come to? What information on the mind map will get you there? Based on your goal, eliminate what is not relevant.
Research – Investigate your sources. Utilize living sources.
Notes – Keep good notes.
Evaluate – See what’s in your hand. Organize and trim the fat.
Have a Plan – How do you plan to use this information to the benefit of the story?
Seek Wise Counsel – Do not be afraid of constructive criticism. Fresh eyes help to build solid foundations.
As those fantastic ideas swimming inside your mind demand release, remember the necessity of research. Research is the necessary tool that will bring those ideas to life and to sustain them for years to come. It will not always be easy and will require patience and a critical eye. But know that it is worth the effort, for research has value beyond your literary need and possesses potential to take you places you did not intend to go and open doors of opportunity for one you may never encounter. Therefore, do not look upon the task as a chore to be done, but more as a level to ascend to. See research as an opportunity to expand your horizons.
I have enjoyed this mini-series and pray that it has in some way been helpful and encouraging to you. Please remember to visit us often. Until then – be blessed and don’t forget to use your words to bear good fruit.