Sunday, December 21, 2014

I love research yes I do…

I love research, how about you?

Okay, I admit it. I was a cheerleader for a while. But not because I could do the splits or do a cartwheel very well. I was just tall – for my age. And it was a small school and there were only three girls on the varsity cheer leading squad, and you get the idea.

Anyway, I’m not writing this month about cheer leading (although I can get happy enough to cheer when I think about this). I am writing about RESEARCH. Research is awesome. I’m kind of hearing “Everything is awesome” from the LEGO movie in the back of my mind right now. Because, for me, everything is awesome when I have something to research.

When a writer researches something she is like Indiana Jones exploring ancient places seeking out a highly valuable bit of a civilization long forgotten “that belongs in a museum!” Only instead of tucking away the highly valuable bit (what she learns) in the back corner of a museum or in a stenciled box at Area 51, she shares it through “story.” And while Indy’s whip and right cross are pretty impressive, “story” has got to be one of the most powerful tools given to humankind.

And what, at least in part, makes “story” so powerful? Research! It is through proper research that readers aren’t sucked out of the world created by the writer. Everything lines up. There aren’t little discrepancies that make the reader halt and say, “Wait a minute. Is that right? I thought…” Yes, it’s all achieved through research, lovely research.

What doesn’t help my personal obsession for research is the fact that I work in a university library. It’s a little cruel, actually. All those
books about every conceivable subject, every time period known to man, from every country in the world just a few steps away. I think God’s trying to teach me something. I think it’s working, maybe, this week. But that’s not the point!

The point is that research well done is important for a believable story. I have to pray a lot while I’m researching because it’s so easy for me be lose myself in all of the information. It’s fascinating to me. Probably how a moth regards the open flame of a taper candle. With God’s help, though, I get what I need and I am safely drawn back out of the sea of facts to write the story He has placed on my heart.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer. And if you’re a writer, I just imagine you have some inkling of what I’m talking about. But if you’re a writer who struggles with research and doesn’t find it as awesome as I do, be encouraged. God will equip you with everything you need to walk in the purpose He has for your life. He promised, and He doesn’t lie.


Humbly submitted by H.T. Lord

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, good research is invaluable, especially when writing about history or far-off places. There are always people who are knowledgeable about our topics, so we'd better have our facts straight, or we disappoint (possibly even anger) our readers. Of course, the fun of research often leads to fascinating rabbit trails that have nothing to do with our story. Resisting those rabbit trails can be a challenge in itself.