Research. I actually really enjoy this bit. I have a plan. I know my characters. I just need more facts (to try and sound convincing and vaguely knowledgeable). Of course, sometimes I gloss over some of it if it doesn’t quite help with my storyline. Ah, artistic license. But, reading up on what you’re writing about obviously helps, and you gain some new information along the way.
It’s amazing what you find yourself Googling sometimes (if any other authors are reading this, they will be nodding in agreement I’m sure.) As handy and instant as Google is though, it isn’t my favourite way to research material. I’m a bookworm. I adore them. The covers; hardback and paperback, the feel of the pages and an excuse to use pretty bookmarks (mostly handmade for me by my creative and helpful seven year-old daughter, thank you).
I enjoy buying books because I can’t quite help it. I also enjoy visiting the library too and I have spent ages going from bookcase to bookcase, searching through their collections. I did this a lot when I was about to begin writing Black Eyed Boy. I thought that I had this fabulous idea for a book, but I also felt too scared to simply sit down and write it for a while. I needed knowledge. Knowledge brought confidence, and then I was able to tentatively start scribbling the story. After that, I couldn’t stop. It was a wonderful first experience of writing a novel.
The vast majority of my research for this book was related to the setting and nearby areas (Whitby) and the local nature and wildlife. I have ended up with a lovely array of books on my shelf that I still look at every week. But, before I knew it, I was delving into historical horror works, learning about myths and legends and custodial family law! Being a writer is rarely dull, I find. You’re always part of another world and another life and each completed book leaves you more well-informed than you were before.