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Thoughts From Mary

ahh…research!

May 01, 2016

research image

This past week I’ve spent hours and HOURS researching South Houston. My need to know included local airports, storage facilities for everything from semi-trucks to 40 foot containers, temps and humidity for the month of August, cheap apartment rentals, streets and freeways, distance and driving times from one place to another, and what time the sun sets in mid-August.

The crazy thing is this: For all the hours spent puttering around on the internet, along with interviewing the myriad people who’ve been kind enough to share their time and expertise, I may use the info gathered in copious notes to complete one scene – or one paragraph – or one sentence as accurately as possible.
I believe proper research is as important in creating a believable story as realistic characters, excellent dialogue and superior editing. I can’t leave anything to chance because nothing jars a reader out of a story faster than a lazy or dumb mistake. I remember reading a fascinating thriller by a world famous author. A firearm was described as a “40 mm Glock.” Talk about a silly error. It diminished the rest of the story for me, because I couldn’t stop wondering what else might be totally off-base.

Next time you pick up a book and cringe at the price tag, consider that the author has probably spent hundreds of hours researching in order to bring you, the highly valued reader the very best story he or she is capable of creating.