Make Research Pay

Novel writers who can’t seem to get any writing done sometimes plead, “Research!” It’s a well-known pitfall, to get so involved in the research for a novel that the novel itself lies unfinished.
Writing Tip for Today: Many novel writers have files and notebooks stuffed with research. How about putting the facts and stories to work?

  • Turn Fiction on Its Head. Turn your research into a byline or cash by writing essays, articles, blog posts or even poetry about the research. Nonfiction short-form is still in demand. So if your novel is about a single mom, for instance, you could write an essay or article on the subject. Many authors use their blogs or websites to showcase a historical era or other prominent topic of their books.
  • Create Spin offs. Research often leads me to find out fabulous stuff about the era or topic. Trouble is, I can’t always use the info in my novel. I keep a file of fascinating stories and/or ideas to write on later.
  • Talk About It. I’ve researched Native Americans extensively for my books, and when I’m invited to speak, I can give much more than just the storyline. I’ve talked on Native Culture and its traditional and contemporary relationships with the Church, shown Power Point slides of Native life and so forth. The audience begins to see why I write about these topics, and becomes more informed.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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