By Tori Silman
In writing, knowing where to start can be the most difficult part. Maybe you have thought about a topic, or read something that inspired you, but what do you write? Well, the answer is simple: research it first!
Research is, without a doubt, the most important part about writing. You can’t write about something you know nothing about! Whether it be the structure of the piece, the general content of it, or even just the minor little tidbits that require some knowledge about something (think politics, culture, history, etc). To better explain how to go about it, I’ll tell you my process.
First, I begin with thinking about my topic. Whether it be a fiction piece, an essay, or a non-fiction article, I always think of what I want the general topic to be. If we’re thinking of it in academic terms, this would be a thesis.
Next, I check out all the information I can gather. For articles, this may be researching every voice I want to speak to on the topic, and conducting secondary research, such as supporting articles. In terms of non-fiction, perhaps you are writing a story set in the 1800s. You need to know the lifestyle and culture of your characters living in the 1800s! Your topic can shift astronomically with the research you do—your research is the meat of what you are writing about.
Once you gather all the information you absolutely can, then comes the writing part! If you have all your research, this will be way easier!
Writing isn’t necessarily a linear process, so play with what works for you. Now, get researching!