Balance in the Writing Process

As a disabled man I have a great appreciation for the importance of physical balance. Gravity and physics have an inelegant way of alerting me when I’m not paying enough attention. Balance in a writing process is something I’m still learning.

I’ve done very little research in my writing to-date. My first two novels Vengeance Will Come (with beta readers) and The Rebel Queen (draft) are fantasy, futuristic, other-worldly. That tends to give me a lot of latitude when it comes to ‘putting down accurate information’. I suspect as an inexperienced author I maybe over play that excuse, but it suffices for now.

My new writing project (let’s call The Hostages for now) is set in the near-future, located in the US and Brazil. Research is therefore a must if I don’t want to have the average reader confronted by gargantuan gaping flaws in my setting (or subject matter).

Last weekend I began to research. My intention was to front-load: do all my research before beginning writing. Mustering all the enthusiasm of a new project, much akin to a present-laden child on their birthday, I visited the library and started to plow through source materials. …I’ve realised this approach doesn’t work for me.

If I spend weeks researching (without doing any writing) it will put out the embers of enthusiasm, dulling my writing edge. I need to at least be doing some writing in conjunction with the research, even if it’s only world building or plot sketching.