You might think that just because you’re writing a novel, you don’t need to research. Nope, that’s largely going to be untrue.

Even if you’re setting your universe in a completely separate and new universe, you’re likely going to have to research something at some point.

For me, since my books are set in an alternate reality (which contains magical realism), I get to do a lot of research. On France, on fairy tales, on clothing of the 16th and 17th centuries, on seals and ships and wars and names.

How do I research? I do all of my own research because, thankfully, I’m a librarian, and have access to most kinds of the information I’m looking for. I generally start with an easy google search and then go from there.

Some of the info can be pretty damned hard to find. Have you ever tried finding out exactly what kind of riding habit a lady of 1860 something wore? It’s difficult! Or, what does a specific name mean?

If you’re looking up something hard to find or esoteric, consider taking a trip to your local library. They (the librarians) might not have time to walk you through each step individually, but they can give you the tools and knowledge to make your research easier.

If you happen upon the right librarian, they might be willing to do your research for you -within reason, that is. When I was a reference librarian, I had a fun time digging up local genealogy for researchers. Things that happened 50 or 100 years ago can be hard to find, and a good librarian is an invaluable resource.


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