I don’t know why the idea for my first novel series came to me in the form of a medieval music video, while listening to a Hooverphonics song… but it did. From the very beginning, I knew my story’s setting. I never doubted that, that was where it needed to be, but ohhhhh, I did NOT want to do the research! At one point I tossed around the idea of making it into a fantasy novel, but then realized that instead of researching the medieval world, I’d only end up having to make up one of my own. So, ugh! My imagination really does have its limitations.
Soooooo niiiiiinnnneeee yeaaaaaaaaaaaaars weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeent byyyyyyyyyyyyy….
and I wrote chapter, after chapter, after un-sequenced chapter of story, but wasn’t sure if I would ever actually put it all together into something coherent… or good enough to show anyone else. Why is research so scary???!!! I’m sure it shouldn’t be, and perhaps it isn’t that it’s scary, persay… but that it puts a hold on my writing. I have to stop writing and read… and read… and read… and write it down… and remember where I wrote it down… and then try to find it again when I actually need it for a chapter. Am I alone in this? Nine years avoiding it!
But then the Lord gave me the green light, and I finally got started. I attacked the library, and brought home 19 books because I soon realized that I had another problem. Where in medieval time was my story to take place? First things first. How long in history did the medieval time period cover? Answer: 450AD to circa 1500AD. Oh… a mere thousand years. I knew I didn’t want to do research!!!
Eventually, I settled on 14th century Europe, during the Black Plague. I found it fascinating, and soon began to enjoy the research. I’m by no means an expert, but I have a fairly good knowledge of the time now, and a small pile of books that I’ve amassed on the subject which I refer to often. These I purchased. The library is not my friend. I end up owing so much in late fees that I might as well just buy every book I want to read.
I want to sum up by saying, that from the time I started getting serious about my research to the time I published, I believe it was only about one year! One! Now having most of that research under my belt, I have been able to move forward with my sequels, now only researching some specifics that I need here and there. I don’t know if I regret not doing the research sooner exactly, because in the back of my mind, I know it wasn’t the Lord’s timing. But on a less spiritual level, I wish the thought of it hadn’t seemed so daunting. I wish I had accepted it as just a part of the process, and then started that process… even if it was only little bit by little bit.
That is my hope for you, as you start your writing process. Don’t shrink away from your challenges, but instead move ahead… even if it’s only one baby step at a time. Think of all of the research I could have accomplished in nine years if I had:-)
So if you have a story you’ve been itching to write, or have started writing… but you feel like just too much time has gone by, know that it hasn’t. It’s never too late to start. Even after all this time, I am sooo happy I didn’t give up on it. I have my book… my story, read and enjoyed by others. Write yours. I’ll read it 🙂