How do you know when you have enough research to write a book?

Everyone does research differently, so everyone completes it differently and at different times.

Most writing classes suggest using note cards (paper or electronic) that can be changed and arranged as knowledge of the subject grows.

Personally, I think that’s a lot of work.

I only do enough research before starting to get a feel for the subject and as I write I do specific research about what I need to know to write the scene I’m working on and, yes, sometimes I must go back and revise a passage or two to conform with what I just learned.

That rewriting involves a tiny bit of time and work compared to what I’d have done if I’d researched everything I thought possible before starting the book.

It’s often said jokingly — though I’m not sure it’s truly a joke — that most of a writer’s research is ignored when writing a story because it turns out to be unnecessary and irrelevant.

So in the end research is a tossup:

          Do enough research before writing to learn a complete subject.

          Or stop during the writing process to learn what you need to know to write a                      specific scene.

Whichever way you choose will decide when you’ll have done enough research to start writing.

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