Bella’s Scribblings: Research

rp_Bella-185x30011111.jpg“Are you busy?” asks my husband.

“I’m doing research,” I reply.

Dictionary definition of ‘research’ – investigation esp scientific study to discover facts.

Reality of my ‘research’ –
• Type in key words to Google
• Follow first link
• Read and jot down a couple of interesting and informative facts on subject for novel
• See link to something unrelated but interesting – click
• An hour later realise you are watching funny cat videos again
• Try to find original Google search results on one of ridiculous number of open tabs
• Get distracted by Facebook update from friend, follow link to quiz…
• Notice another hour has disappeared
• Get a cup of tea and give self a good talking to about time-wasting
• Close down distracting tabs and stare at Google page – what was I researching again?

Whilst watching cats on the internet is highly entertaining it really is not moving my novel forward. I am particularly liking animal photo bombs at the moment. However, the reality is that even with all the distractions I know I can find out what I need to know and a million other things in a nanosecond (assuming I can stay focused for that long!)

I don’t think the internet is the only source you should rely on for research. For my first novel one of characters was an actor and quite a few scenes were on a film set. Whilst I was able to look up some things about working in the film industry it wasn’t sufficient to give me confidence that it was accurate and realistic.

Thankfully a friend of a friend is a TV scriptwriter but has also done some very successful book to film adaptations. She was invaluable in steering me in the right direction and checking my facts.

I am currently researching free-running. How hard would this be without the internet? I marvel at the amazing invention the internet is (okay, I know I sound ancient now, but it is one of the things in the world that genuinely is awesome).
Thanks to the internet I have discovered free running groups in my area, made contact with some incredibly helpful individuals and soon all I ever wanted to know about free running will be answered. How would this ever have been possible without the internet?

I’m not saying I haven’t watched cat videos in the process but that just demonstrates my amazing multi-tasking ability.

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Bella Osborne
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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