This is a list of sites with useful information on how to conduct research for your stories and characters. I am also including a recent blog post I wrote with my own research tips.
Research Tips for Stories (by me)
7 Tips on How to Research a Novel
7 Great Online Resources for Writers
5 Tips for Historical Fiction Writers
My Research Tips for Stories
- Google is your friend. READ EVERYTHING! It doesn’t take too much time to put in a few words about a topic you are interested in learning about or need more information on. In my first TS3 Story, Reagan Leeds: Run The World, I wrote about many places I’d never been to, medical terminology, designers, food, domestic violence, mental illness, nightclubs, business terminology. The list goes on. I knew a lot about some of these topics already, but it did not hurt to dig in deeper.
- Write what you know. But if you don’t, ask someone or find out more about it! I’ve been a mental health advocate for many years as someone who has lived with mental illness for 26 years. Even still, for some things I went to my older brother who is a psychiatrists and I took my own experiences of being in therapy and in a behavioral health hospital and shared my insight through some of my characters. I modeled when I was younger, so my protagonist, Reagan was a model, but of course far more successful than I ever was!
- Ask someone. I wanted to know more about Trinidad and Tobago. I had friends back in the day from TNT, but there were other things I wanted to know about the island country, so I asked people I knew for specific details to help me develop my character, Reagan’s mother Apollonia who is from TNT.
- Take advantage of different media. I already mentioned Google, but there are many videos on You Tube about different topics that you may be writing about, news sites, documentaries, Facebook, Instagram, blogs. There is no shortage of information that is available to us.
- Get organized. What I like to do is make specific bookmarks for different topics. I may have a bookmarked titled “POLITICS” “NYPD” LEGAL” FASHION BLOGGING” “INVESTMENTS”, etc. Having bookmarks makes it easier for me to save sites I want to reference if I need to know more on a subject for my stories.