Day 31

It’s been a productive day. Though I just missed my 1k mark, I did manage to complete chapter 7 and begin chapter 8. I also managed to get quite a bit of research done. With my second novel, Garden Variety, taking place on a flower farm, I’m finding myself surfing the net as I write, anxious to make sure my flower facts are accurate. Though it slows down the writing, I’m finding that I actually enjoy my excursions into the world of flowers and gardening.

Though my novel is about two sisters working through betrayal, all three Kohler sisters will have to come to terms with a shocking family secret. It’s a secret that will pull them close and change their lives forever. All of this takes place on a flower farm that’s been in the Kohler family for three generations. And you can’t write about a working flower farm without knowing what’s growing.

I’ve learned so much about common flowers like tulips, carnations and irises as well as Nigella, a flower found in English gardens. Though I do have a small wildflower garden (and I mean small – two containers LOL) and a rose garden (again small – two bushes LOL), I had no idea how much there is to know. Too much sun, too little sun, too much moisture, too little moisture and to top that off slugs – ugh! Now I can tell my hubby how to get rid of our slimy pests; just a little side benefit of research. Still I’m enjoying myself and seeing how these details sprinkled in the pages of my manuscript really make the setting come alive.  I have no problem setting up a scene with my main character putting together table centerpieces and displays for several affairs she will be providing the flowers for. And I think I’ve found a clever way to tie in flowers to the affairs of the heart. But I’ll save that for later!

For my fellow writers I ask this: Have you found it easier to research as you write or research before you beginning the writing of your story? Any pros and cons of either method that you’d like to share? In the meantime, all this flower talk makes me want to take a stroll out to my gardens…and maybe think about expanding a little bit next year!





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4 responses to “Day 31

  1. Larissa Lyons

    Howdy Chris. I’m struggling with this very issue right now. Even though I much, much prefer to save the research for after the bulk of the story is done, I’m finding myself totally stymied–almost as though there’s a block keeping me from moving forward on story content until I tie down some historical details.

    I know some authors like to research the story they’re going to write NEXT, while they work on a different, current story. I don’t know. I keep getting bogged down in details (and they are driving me nuts!). I worry that I may be sacrificing story progress on tiny details that don’t truly contribute to the overall story arc.

    It’s definitely a bit of a balancing act and I’d recommend you try a couple of different research techniques to see what works best for you. Good luck!

  2. Hi Larissa! Nice to know I’m in good company 😀 I love this story but I had thought I might be able to just leave some empty parenthesis to mark where I need to fill in facts and such. But today I was thinking that it might make that much more work in the edits and I don’t want to have to research while editing. Plus I think the story is stronger with accurate facts written in as I write. So far it’s working but just a bit slower than I’d prefer.

    I know an author who researches her next story while she’s finishing up her current. For me I’m halfway through this novel and outlining the next story. A friend told me, when asking her if she works on more than one novel at a time, that she has 3 novels at any time – one in the first few chapters, one near completion and one being outlined/researched. She’s had 45 novels published so she must be on to something.

    Like you said, I think I’ll have to try my hand at few different ways and see what works for me, like everything else in writing 😀 Regardless, I feel like I’m learning so much and that’s got to help down the road!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Christina! Nice blog post … research can be a stumbling block or a chance to find great new info. I’m never quite sure how much to include, sort of wing it when writing fiction. Thanks! –Daisy Hickman

    • Hi Daisy!
      Thank you! Glad you could relate to this post. Research has always been a problem for me. I go between doing too much and too little LOL. I think
      with this novel I’m starting to find balance but it still remains to be seen. Regardless, I finally do see why so many writers say they enjoy research. It’s a
      great way to learn new things and with researching occupations, what better way to walk in the shoes of a myriad of careers? With a story, I can live vicariously through
      my main character and be a doctor, lawyer, rancher and just about anything under the sun! Being a writer truly is the best job!

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