Monday, May 13, 2013

Organizing your book: Three research methods

By Dennis Mellersh

Now that you are in the process of acquiring knowledge on how to write a book and are becoming a writer of books, you must assume the mind and methods of a writer.

Doing research for your book(s) is an example.

You need to figure out a timetable or time-related method of how to do the research required for the books you are planning, whether they are fiction or non-fiction.

One approach is to simply pick a time each day, or on as many days as you can, and devote a specific amount of time, say one-and-a-half hours, for example, to do the formal research for your book.

A second method is to organize the reading time you would normally spend on unfocussed (pleasure) reading and instead take that time to read materials specifically as research sources on the topic of your book.

A third way is to utilize your every-day reading by asking yourself, “Is there some way this information could be useful in the books I would like to write?”

An example: If you are writing a book of fiction, such as a novel, and you are reading your local newspaper, watching TV, or reviewing news sites on the Internet, ask yourself if any of what you are reading or watching, such as interesting stories involving people’s behaviour, could be useful information on which to build a character in your book, or add something to the plot of your book.

Alternatively, if you are writing a non-fiction book, make an effort to examine all your regular sources of reading, such as newspapers, TV, and online news sites, and specifically watch for topic-oriented background material that might be useful for your book.

Most general news media divide their coverage by topic such as, business, finance, sports travel, and entertainment, so this can simplify your sorting of source materials.

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