By Marcia Mickelson
I don't like doing research. I just like to start writing even though I don't have all the information. That's probably why I could never historical novels. They require too much research.
Even with contemporary books, there is still research to be done. Thankfully, we have the Internet which makes research a lot easier. Even there, you can't find all the answers.
With my latest manuscript, I've had to research several aspects of the story. The Internet has played a large role, but I've also had to talk to people who have specific knowledge. Thanks to Facebook for helping me reconnect with a friend from high school who is now a doctor. He has been so kind to answer many medical questions I have. He has taken time to respond, very quickly, I might add to my questions.
There is a man in my church who is a police officer and he recently took the time to answer a few questions I e-mailed him. A friend of a friend of a friend took time to respond to an e-mail I sent her about Scotch. A sister-in-law of a friend answered some questions I had about Child Protective Services. The list goes on.
All of those e-mails, facebook messages, phone calls to people with extensive knowledge about certain subjects count as research. I'm thankful all of these kind people have taken the time to answer these questions. Doing the research is part of writing, no matter how undesirable the task is. Making sure you get it right as you write will make the story believable and stronger. So, research on.