The Importance of Research

As a writer, I think that research is immensely important.

You need to know the world you are writing about, otherwise you will run the risk of inaccuracies and flaws, which may annoy your readers. So don’t take anything for granted… if you’re unsure on something you’re writing about (i.e. the rankings of the British Army), then make sure that you look into it and get it right!

My first book was set in the fifties (forty years before I was born), so I did a lot of research for it! I wanted to paint an accurate picture of the time period, so I read books and looked online about it, making sure that every little detail was accurate. What did people eat? What did they do in their spare time? What sort of clothes did they wear? All of these questions were relevant and allowed me to progress with the story.

My second book, on the other hand, required very little research because it was heavily based on personal experiences. For these sorts of projects, the ones that you’ve lived through or experienced through the eyes of others, you don’t have to worry as much about research because you already know everything that you want to convey. However, it’s still good to check that you’ve got things right.

As for my latest project, set in a fantasy world, I thought that a lot of research would be required. However, I soon came to the realisation that my world has its own rules, so I’m not bound to issues of accuracy! Of course, research is helpful if you’re looking for ideas or elements to base your fantasy world on, but for the most part, you have free rein.

The most important tip from this post is to research what you’re unsure about. Don’t just blag something and think you’ll get away with it because there’ll be people out there who will know that you’ve got it wrong! So do your research and have fun with your writing!

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Should I self-publish?

Before yesterday, I would’ve said no.

But since then, things have been put into perspective for me. Someone made me realise that the odds of getting published the traditional way are very slim, and that I could be waiting around for a very long time before an agent accepts me! And also, only 0.01% of books are given a marketing budget, which is much lower than I expected! So rather than waiting around for what might never happen, I’ve decided to take action.

I don’t want fame or fortune. I just want to share my books with the world and make a living from doing so! So I’m going to make my books available and see what happens. Hopefully, people will like what I have to offer 🙂

The decision to self-publish has opened up a lot of doors. I must decide which platforms to use, how to market myself, how to format the book etc. I already know the answers to some of these questions, as I’ve quietly been wondering about self-publishing for a while. I’ve always tried to find out information about it, just in case I ever decided to go ahead with it. And now is that time.

The reason that I tried to get published the traditional way was because I wanted to set myself apart from the sea of self-published authors out there. In this day and age, anyone can publish a book, and I didn’t want to get lost in the crowd. But I know now that there are ways and means that I can distinguish myself 🙂

At the end of the day, I want people to read my books. They’re just gathering dust at the moment, so I’d like to share them! And if they do well, then a publisher might even offer to take me on anyway!

Watch this space, guys!

Why do I write?

Writing is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing.

Quite often, I get caught up in the dream of getting published and forget that I write simply because it’s something that I love doing! Of course, it would be fantastic if I could share my books with the world, but remembering the real reason that I write takes the pressure off a bit.

I love creating different worlds and characters to fill them. I love telling stories and putting my characters through difficult situations. When I remember that I write for the fun of it, I’m less questioning of my ideas. It frees me to pursue whatever project I want, without worrying what other people might think of it.

It is important to pursue what you love. Hobbies and passions give you a sense of purpose and enrich your time here on this Earth. Even if I never get published, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be writing until the end of my days.

Woaaah I’m halfway theeere! Woooaaah, living on a prayer!

So far, NaNoWriMo is going rather well!

I’m halfway through the writing challenge now and I’m generally managing to keep up with the daily word targets. Some days I fall behind, but I make up for that on super-productive days that bring me back up to speed! In addition to that, I am extremely pleased with how the book and the characters are coming to life =)

This year, the writing challenge is so much easier. For a start, I have grown leaps and bounds in self-confidence, so I am not afraid to pursue my goals and have lots of faith in myself. And also, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, as this has hindered my progress in the past.

All things considered, I think I’m actually in with a good chance to write 50,000 words! Of course, it helps that I have bags on time on my hands, which I am extremely grateful for. Lots of other people taking part in the challenge will be doing their writing alongside their jobs, so I count myself lucky that I have more time than most.

If you’re taking part in Nano, then I wish you the best of luck with your novel! If you’re not taking part in Nano, then I highly suggest that you try it out one day! They say that everyone has a book inside them, and I totally agree with this statement because everyone is unique and has something to say about our crazy world. So why not write a novel folks? It’s fun, I promise you!

For more information on NaNoWriMo, please visit my previous post: https://nickpetersonblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/as-one-book-ends-another-begins/