by Christina Rich
Whether you’re working on a contemporary suspense or an historical novel the research process can be an overwhelming task, but the more organized your are the less overwhelming it becomes.
Besides, if you’re not organized, how are you going to keep things straight? Sheriff’s cars are white, city cars black, or was it the other way around? Hmmmm….if I do a control f on my document surely I can find the answer.
Why go through the hassle when you can find it much quicker and easier by looking over your research notes? And here is another besides: if your hero has blue eyes in chapter one and green in chapter three and brown in ten, your reader is going to notice. For writers, it can be difficult to keep things straight, but a reader will be sure to point out the discrepancies quicker than you can bat a lash. And you lose credibility that quickly. With a click of a button or a turn of a page tab, you can easily find the color of your main character’s eyes and save yourself a nasty email.
Another reason to keep your research organized is because you’re bound to have that one expert call you out on that one little detail you spent days researching only to come up with contradictory information. If you have your research organized, you’ll be able to point to your resource with ease, not to prove a point to the expert, but to give yourself peace of mind.