Research Before Writing Your Story Or After?

5/10/2013 , , 2 Comments

I wonder how many authors do research for their story before they write it. In the past, I’ve taken several writing courses and was taught to do your research as you’re writing it, so that’s how I do it. To me it makes sense because what if you spend all your time researching before you started your story and then discover as it unfolds, you didn’t need the information after all? You totally wasted all that time, right? But I guess it’s a matter of perspective. I mean, if later on in the future you’d need that information then I suppose it was worth it.

I don’t know.

Each writer is different on how they do things, but it works better for me to research as I write my story.

This week I had to do some research on Africa because my characters were going there. I knew very little about this continent and learned quite a bit looking stuff up on it. Now my characters are there, so I’ll be doing further research to make their journey more accurate. The only thing I don’t like about doing it this way is it slows me down. I much rather write. However, I do find this process beneficial in the long run and it’s worth it.

So what will I be doing this weekend?

I’ll be doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but in between those things, I’ll be joining the gang in Africa. :)

Happy Friday!


  1. I do most of the research before and only a bit during, but that's probably because my writing relies a lot on history. Knowing more details about the period I'm researching is never a bad thing. Even if I don't end up using a bit of information explicitly, I think that it colors the way that I depict the setting and even some of the characters. But I still have to double check some items as I write. The bad thing is that research can pull me out of the "flow" :/

  2. I think in your situation, since it entails a lot of history, it would be smart to research it before hand. :)