Planning a Novel : Research

After outlining for my mystery novel I start my research. There are four areas where I mostly conduct my research: Names, Job, Setting and Similar Stories.

Names

I always start with character names when researching. Part of me feels like if I know their names before I start creating them I will know more about them very quickly. I like to pick somewhat different, unique names. I also like to look at their meaning, hoping it will describe the character somehow.

Below are a couple of websites I use for names:
Nameberry
Babynames.com
Sheknows

Job

Then I move onto what my characters do for work. If I don’t know too much about their jobs then I will look up a brief description of their duties. If their job is important to the story then I will dig deeper so I have plenty of references to use.

Right now the main characters are hairstylists, a teacher and of course law enforcement.

Setting

Next I decide where the story will take place. Either in a real city or one I create. So far I’ve only created the cities for my stories. Mostly because I can create every aspect of the town instead of learning every minuscule detail of a real town.

The town where my novel takes place is in the fictional town of Lander, VT located in the Northeast Kingdom. Personally I’ve never been but the pictures are absolutely beautiful. I’m excited at using this location.

Similar Stories

Since this is a mystery novel I’ve been reading more crime novels and researching similar cases. I like to see how other authors set up their characters and how the investigation unfolds. It helps me gauge if my story is flowing smoothly and makes sense.

Do you research? How does it help you? What websites do you use?

Needed to Regroup

Needed to take a couple days away from social media to regroup and focus on writing. Unfortunately I discovered I don’t have enough material for my novel. I wasn’t 100% percent sure I had enough ideas anyway so I’m not too surprised.

The only real bummer is that I put myself on a deadline to have this novel done by the end of September and this may set me back. My goal is I have to write two pages a day. Sometimes it is a breeze and other times it feels like I am learning to write all over again. Can y’all relate?

Trying to stay focused and determined to stay on track. Means I may not be able or have enough energy to give with networking. Feel like I am no good at it anyways. I’m a pretty private person in general so it’s been hard to think of what to share, what to talk about. Hopefully I can find a balance – I’m all about balance! ha – between everything.

Until then…