You’ve probably heard this saying many times and you surely know what it means. It suggests that you, as a writer, should do your homework well before starting to write about the poisonous snakes of Antarctica – I hope you figured that there’s no such thing.
So yes, well-done research can make you avoid embarrassment. Readers wouldn’t want a writer that has no idea what he or she is talking about. But there is one more side to this research – it’s how it helps you sell your story.
You probably think that research only adds realism to the story and creating a realistic setting for it. It’s not just that. Credibility is only one of the things that help you sell your story.
Researching properly, as you will soon see, offers your readers so much more than you’d expect. Some of them might buy your book just for the simple fact that, somewhere in it, there’s a chapter so well done and researched, that they just have to read it again and again.
Therefore, let’s show you how documentation helps you sell your stories.
It’s Much More than Mere Credibility
The main thing research adds to your story is credibility. For readers that prefer to read something they can easily connect with in real life, a well-documented chapter is something they’d die for.
But the important bit is that they will be able to relate to your stories. Someone interested in the Norse mythology will have an amazing time reading a chapter where you introduce means of incantation used by the Vikings – that if the chapter is documented properly.
Failing to research a certain subject will disappoint your readers. And disappointed readers lead to a book that will end up in the antique store, with dust piling up on them – or in unvisited blog pages.
Furthermore, a person is more likely to pick up your book, or read your posts, if he wants to read experiences and sensations that come from different places; places he or she wants to visit or has already visited. For them, a passage that describes the cherry trees of Japan is as good as being there – if researched properly.
You have no idea of the amount of positive feedback you will receive if you do your homework and pull off that incredible description of a certain thing, feeling, sensation etc.
Research Helps Every Aspect of Your Writing
Picking up books that contain information that will help you build your story will provide you with almost everything that’s needed for it. History books may provide you with various reasons for a murder, or for a general to act the way he did.
Your characters, actions, and environment can be linked to what you find interesting in the books you chose for research. You wouldn’t want to add a 1600’s piece of armor in a story that’s taking place in the 1400’s.
Also, well-done research guides readers in picking up your book or reading your article instead of doing a Wikipedia search. They will almost always choose and buy what you wrote if they have heard, or know, you do your research and are able to offer them the same feeling they had when they first learned history in grade school.
The art of storytelling, combined with the information a research provides, will become a story – your story – that has your characters and setting, but to which people will be able to relate and identify things they have knowledge of.
Therefore, don’t say no to research when creating your story’s universe. That additional bit of information might help you get more readers and therefore more sales.
After all, it is common sense that you write just about what you know.