Monday, August 31, 2009

Research - The Monster That Ate My Writing Time.

I'd like to give a warm welcome to my friend and Romance author, Sherilyn Winrose. Her topic for discussion is one that all writers can identify with: Research. I can get lost in research. I go to a site to check out a particular fact and end up spending hours following up on all sorts of added things. I do the same thing when I'm in the library and especially if it's historical research. You usually can find me sitting behind a wall of books reading or scribbling madly in my notebook

I'm glad I'm not the only writer who can get lost in research. Sherilyn discusses the distractions and the compulsion to add extra tidbits to the WIP while doing research.

I'm editing my historical romance, Escape to Love, at the moment. I never liked the ending. Time to clean it up and get it right.

What has surprised me during this edit is even after extensive, exhaustive research when I was writing it. I find myself researching more.

Mid-Nineteenth century U.S. history is a passion of mine. It's no surprise, when I surface from the multitude websites hours are sucked up. Not only is writing time gone, but then I find all sorts of little plot points begging to be written even though they aren't needed and would serve no purpose to anything except my ego.

Getting distracted at this particular stage is a nice, if not a weakly concealed break and completely unnecessary. How much is too much? Oh, when I find myself adding paragraphs just to pass on this or that tidbit to the reader. I know the derned tidbit is going to hit the cutting room floor even as I write it.

Yet, somehow I find it difficult to write to the point when I have all sorts of interesting historical tidbits floating in my mind scape.

It's not like I can sit down with non-writer friends and expound on all of this cool information I've learned. They tend to give me that, 'here we go again' expression. My family members suddenly remember chores which must be done right now, or find a slow spot to slip out. Sigh...

So what am I to do with all this information? Too much for the book, too little for a degree, and boring nonsense to my friends and family.

Why a sequel of course!

I no longer wonder why authors take one idea or group there of and create entire libraries out of them. Fabricating fiction to hit as real takes work and dedication. The likes of which I never fully appreciated until recently.

Given the number of works I have in progress it is very likely more research will be needed when I get back to writing, Return to Love.

Good thing I enjoy researching this time period.

How do you handle your research? Any hints you'd like to share on managing research time?

Sherilyn is a native North Dakotan, currently residing in Eastern Washington. She draws inspiration from the Western locations she has lived and visited. Romance with an edge is what she enjoys reading. So it's no surprise it's what she writes. Safe Harbor is her debut novel. When she’s not writing, Sherilyn enjoys spending time with her husband and their two grown children.

Visit Sherilyn at:

Blurb for Safe Harbor:

Are we ever truly clear of our past? Is there such a thing as Safe Harbor? Jenna Davidson escaped the drug-ridden streets, emerging as the person she always wanted to be.Her debut country CD, ‘After the Dark’, is due to be released the end of October. A stage persona is a price she’s willing to pay for the career she so desperately wants. The sky is wide open. Jenna couldn’t ask for more, until the life she'd worked so hard to leave behind comes to call.

Lt. Bryan Jamison’s determination to see his partner’s murder solved has brought him to this unassuming suburban home. The violet-eyed girl has eluded him for five long years. Bryan has no intention of letting anything or anyone get in the way. Kingpin Simon Dilante is going to prison.

Available on