Researching for Fiction

I don’t know about you but I research a lot. Every time I find myself with a question about something I’m writing about I research it. Even though I’m creating a story and characters and to a large extent the world that it’s happening in, I feel like I’d be wasting time not grounding everything in fact. So that research starts. Last night I spent just about an hour researching the proper rank for military jobs just for some ancillary characters that are in the story for a chapter.

For my second novel I spent days researching the Ojibwe tribes known history and culture and only used a scintilla of the information culled. But I guess I fear that not getting something right might jar someone from suspension of disbelief while reading a story.

That got me to thinking about how necessary research is and to what depths a fiction writer needs to delve into the subject they are unfamiliar with. In a world where I hold only so much time to write, it’s frustrating to see that disappear with no words written.

How do you deal with researching for your writing? Is it something you spend a lot of time on or not?

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