Today I want to talk about the process I use when I have to do research for a story. If you’ll be so kind to indulge me while I talk. Hopefully I can help someone else who’s trying to figure out how to do research for a novel.

There are a lot of things that I write that require me to do a lot of research. On cities where I have never been but have decided to use as a setting; an apartment different from the one that I own; anything that I do not have experience with. Then there is the lore, though I like to play fast and loose with it, I still feel obligated to look it up so that I know where to start. So, sometimes I do research. There is a lot of research currently being done on the next series I plan to write, the Dohmnall Institute series. It’s a school and so there are a lot of things that go into that and so the research and planning before I can plot, is an immense undertaking.

When I start researching something, let’s use the latest thing I researched for an idea I had for an upcoming novel. For plot reasons, I had to search up avalanches and what could potentially happen and whether or not they’re common anywhere in North America in late April, early May. I started with simple searches on google. Got the information I needed, then went on to research branch things that I thought of, like if someone had an amputation, how would that look? What is the recovery process? What types of prosthetics are there? How do they fit? Then I had to look at other things that went along with that that had more to do with the plot, which I won’t reveal too much of because it may later be a plot twist.

After all of that I had to think of how these things would be different or the same in an Arkane world setting. It’s a little about thinking outside the box. Double checking sources, and then I do whatever the hell I want to anyway. Everything I do is taken with a bit of artistic liberty where I please, because I can. But at least I know the source material well through my research. I do enjoy my research, and sometimes it’s a simple as looking up apartment or house plans on Pinterest, or going to Google to find out information. Like with Dohmnall, the Arkane are my take on witches, and each character is connected to one of the six elements. They are born with an ability to do something connected to that element, whether it ultimately be helpful or not. Some characters can do simple things like making flowers bloom out of season. Others can do more complicated things, like creating fire out of nothing. It’s a fun series, but required A LOT of research on my part.

I find that not everything needs to be researched though. Sometimes, like I said before, artistic liberty is the best course of action. I put buildings and neighborhoods where there is already something there. Like the Arkane neighborhoods in New York that occur in the Bluebird Chronicles. Or the building in Montmartre that Akina resides in, it’s not a real place. I just decided it was there. It works because of artistic license. Never underestimate the value of that, it saves your sanity I promise you. What I do with all of this research is another thing entirely. I have entire notebooks full of notes for different things and then I also have charts, graphics, lists, etc. that I’ve made on Canva and saved to keep me organized. I have made an entire perpetual plot calendar for myself where I can outline and schedule all of the books in the Arkane world. I have a seprate one for my regular romance novels.

So, how do you research for your novels? Are you precise? Willy-nilly? Do you make charts and graphics? How do you do it? Share with us in the comments.
As always my dears, drink your water, be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow.

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