Research and Writing

You’d think I was writing a fucking academic dissertation considering how slow things are going here. To write a measly 200 words, I printed out ten pages of two different articles from Journal of Thank God You Have Full Text of Old Articles. I took four pages of notes about articles, databases, archives, and other directions I could go in, as well as two transcribed pages of quotes from correspondence I have on hand.

Five hours, 200 words. That’s a minute and a half of research per word. The words weren’t even terribly technical, I’m just describing something my father used to do. On the bright side, I figured out as much as I could without raising the dead. I’m confident that there is not a thing more I can learn on this subject.

Well, there are a few more things I could learn, but I’ve written those things down, and will work on them later. You know, when I have five more hours to spare.

Do you research?

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4 responses to “Research and Writing

  1. Ohhhh, yeah.

    But you know, the amount of research I end up doing is often inversely proportional to the words I need to devote to the subject, at least in fiction.

    I’ll wing an entire first draft about someone with sickle cell anemia, relying on what I remember from The Color Purple and an MTV bio on that one member of TLC—at least until the third revision.

    But if I need a single throwaway term for, say, a 14th Century toilet . . . well, it’s been about a year now and I’m still ILLing books about ancient plumbing systems.

  2. Pingback: Research and Writing, cont. | Fangs and Clause

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