It’s an old question – should you research as you write, or at a later date? For me, it’s way too easy to go onto the internet to check a fact, or a name while in full flow during a writing session, completely wrecking my train of thought. For this reason, I use a laptop that isn’t connected to the internet, and I keep my tablet computer upstairs out of the way. I know other (published, best-selling) authors do similar things – Anthony Riches and Giles Kristian for example write their excellent historical fiction in remote sheds, far from online temptation.
But how do you keep track of the things you need to research, without writing it all down in a notepad and, again, taking yourself out of your writing session? I don’t know how anyone else does it, but what I do is simply put a letter “X” in place of the name or whatever else it is I will have to look up in the future. That way, when I’m finished writing and looking to get on the ‘net, or into my library, for some research I can use the “Edit>Find” tool in MS Word and locate all my out-of-place X’s.
It seems simple but one other writer I mentioned it to hadn’t thought of it, so I wanted to share in case it can help anyone else out there.
Steven A. McKay
You can find my work-in-progress medieval fiction novel “Wolf’s Head” here, please have a look and give the page a “Like”.