How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

This post is a plea to all you writers out there. How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

I’m currently editing book three. It is set, in part, in World War II France. I’ve read books about the period, watched newsreel footage, videos and read newspaper articles. Although I researched a bit at the beginning, most of it I did after the basic plot of my story was in place, so I was able to think how my characters would have fitted into what I was reading and watching etc.

My trouble is, I don’t know if I’ve done enough.

My temptation is to keep going, in part because it’s interesting, but also because I don’t know when to stop.

How do you decide when you’ve done enough research? Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. 🙂

Thank you!

Elle 🙂 xx

2 thoughts on “How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

  1. I think the thing you need to ask yourself is what balance are you seeking between creative licence and authenticity, if you are seeking factual accuracy, you could use ask someone who runs a specialist blog or who has written a factual book about the war to verify anything you don’t feel confident about. But if it’s creative licence leading to a sense of credibility and believability, this is when you give it to someone to read and ask them at the end, did it ring true. As a writer, it’s your task to create a world your readers can buy into, it can be a ludicrous, fantastical world but it just needs to feel and be consistent and that’s when you know imho you’ve done enough. With Gunshot Glitter I employed a mixture of both truths and imaginings, I used real bands, made up bands, real locations, made up locations, but ensured they seagued together and painted a clear, believable world that the characters and narrative could inhabit. If you feel you’ve done that, I’m sure you’ve done plenty. But as i said at the start, define what you’re objective is and then re-appraise. Hope that helps?

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    • Thank you, Yasmin, you’ve been a brilliant help. Your thoughtful comment helped the penny to drop. I hadn’t articulated the balance that you describe. I see what you mean and how that fits with what I’ve been doing. Thank you again – you’re a star! 🙂 xx

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