Comment to 'Research - How far should we go?'
  • I think it depends on what you're writing. Fiction is just that - fiction. Even Hilary Mantel has had to point out that she writes fiction so it is not right to criticise her if she takes what some might consider liberties. That said, the reader needs to feel they are in a safe pair of hands are are not being fed rubbish. I've fallen into the trap of researching, for example, a particular illness to exhaustion. That's fine and necessary for my knowledge, but then I've found it hard to resist showing off how much I know. This resulted in readers querying some of the points made when all I needed/wanted to do was have them get immersed in the story with enough detail to make it feel real.

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    • I agree, doing too much research up front can lead to a lot of wasted time and (if you're strong) not much getting used! 

      Mantel apparently does far more of her research after her first draft now than she used to. I've found this also works better for me - I try to check that the main elements are correct and then work out what I need to know later.

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      • I agree, doing too much research up front can lead to a lot of wasted time and (if you're strong) not much getting used! 

        Mantel apparently does far more of her research after her first draft now than she used to. I've found this also works better for me - I try to check that the main elements are correct and then work out what I need to know later.

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        • I agree, doing too much research up front can lead to a lot of wasted time and (if you're strong) not much getting used! 

          Mantel apparently does far more of her research after her first draft now than she used to. I've found this also works better for me - I try to check that the main elements are correct and then work out what I need to know later.

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