The Woes of Over Researching

download (1)Last semester, I was sitting in my mass communication class listening to a guest speaker. I managed to compile six pages worth of notes for the “take-home” assignment; however,  there was no take-home assignment. Uh-oh!

My professor stood in front of the class and told us that we had the remaining hour to write a report on the guest speaker’s presentation.

I nearly choked on my breath. An hour!? I needed much more time than that. I had to mull over the information, slap together a rough draft, and edit it until I thought it was acceptable (I say acceptable because, in my eyes, everything I do can be better).

You can bet your left arm that I was stressing.

But I eventually realized that I was wasting time worrying and just started to write. In the end, my report came out great!

I know what you’re thinking: That’s great, Desiree, but what does this have to do with creative writing and over researching?

Don’t get testy.

My point is that some writers, me included, wont commit a single word to a page unless they’ve thoroughly researched a subject (for fiction, I’ll usually research things like plot theory, character technique, or whatever else). Sure, research is awesome! It can make you feel super-uber smart (and who doesn’t want to feel that way?); but it can become an elaborate reason to not write.

Eventually, enough is a enough! Research must be cancelled so creativity/writing, not editing or fact checking, can take the stage.


Can you relate to my experience? What’s your view on over researching?

6 Replies to “The Woes of Over Researching”

  1. Yes…yes I can. I picked a setting and culture that’s different from my own. Wrote one of my main POV characters from that background. Throw in a complex history still impacting and you’ve got ALOT of research to do….. Now I’ve set my newest novel in my hometown and brought on a friend as a co-writer…

      1. Welllll so I’ve had several readers from there. So it’s written for an American audience. Content was fine. One of the readers thought I had some issues with 1st person narration in tha

      2. Crap didn’t mean to post yet.. Anyway 1 thought I had some slips in first person narration with dialect stuff and recommended getting a copy editor to look at it (fair enough). The other reader loved that character and had no issues with him. So…. Yeah… Looking into that

          1. Ha lol but dialect was part of the research. But really I think there’s just things you can’t totally get thru research. Thanks tho! And happy writing/researching!

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