Six More Weeks of Winter?
Well, I'm pretending that it is, anyway. The two groundhogs in my area both saw their little shadows on Sunday, and that means six more weeks of winter if you believe that superstition.
Now, I'm not a terribly superstitious person, but... yesterday, my neighborhood was blanketed with eight to ten inches of heavy snow. We're having a breather until tonight, when the snow returns, turns to sleet, icy rain, and finally rain on Wednesday, and could give us up to another eight inches in my area.
Coincidence, or a call for a road trip to obtain a pair of warm groundhog-pelt gloves? I'll leave you to ponder that...
What really struck me today, as I diligently delay the inevitable digging out of my car, is how easy it is to get sidetracked. One of the biggest ways I sidetrack myself is research, but you know what? It's the one delaying factor I can't resent.
Research is key to making my worlds believable, and if you're writing in fantasy or alternate world settings, the last thing you want is for a reader to stop cold because you've dropped a total implausibility into their lap. I hate when it happens to me as a reader, and I'll devote ridiculous amounts of time researching what might seem like minutia to my family. It may wind up in one sentence, but trust me, knowing exactly what methods might have been used to practice writing in 4th Century Roman-settled Britain was of burning importance to a project I have in the works.
I've talked to some other writers I know, and most agree that research is good. The question is when does a little research become too much research? I'm not writing a treatise here. It's a work of fiction, and I'd like to get the draft of the sequel to my book, Ghost's Sight, out the door and submitted.
In six weeks.
Maybe I need an intervention. Researchers Anonymous.
But for the writers out there, how much research do you like to do, and for the readers, how much does that level of detail matter to you?