This kind of links in to my previous posts: Learning from Short Story Competition Winners and Read Yourself Free (perhaps I should have written these as a series…). After all, reading and learning from your reading to enrich what you’re writing is research. It doesn’t have to involve looking up a particular fact to make sure your writing is accurate.
Here are the methods I use to research:
- Reading other stories, particularly competition winners
- Searching Google for a particular fact (it’s not everything but it is an inescapable part of it.)
- Google Images (especially for descriptions – I just find it helpful to have an image to start from.)
- Google Maps
- BBC News (also great for ideas – my last Friday Flash, ‘Just Playing’ was based on this news story.)
- Going to the place my story is set (if I can – some of my stories are set locally.)
- My experiences and memories and those of others (I don’t generally interview, as such, but will use what has come up in conversation.)
There are probably more that I do so naturally I haven’t even thought of them, but you get my point.
I might write a series about this – going into each one in more depth – but only if there’s interest, so let me know what you think. Also, if you can think of any that I’ve overlooked, please say and I’ll add them.