Monday, August 26, 2013

Questions Lead to Research Which Leads to More Questions

As a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, I spend quite a bit of my time researching various things. I generally start out with a question about something, so I look that up and discover way more than I was looking for.

This often spawns more questions that have me researching even deeper, until I glance at the clock and see that I've spent way more time looking stuff up than I originally planned. Even though that puts me behind on my daily work, I'm still fine with it because I know just enough about a lot of things to give me something to talk about when I'm with friends. I also get more ideas for future books.

Here are some examples:

  • Garment District - I was looking up information about the garment district in New York City and discovered that there are almost 100,000 fashion related jobs in that small area. This led me to look up what some of the jobs were and how they came to be during a time when so much manufacturing is being done offshore. 
  • Promotional Products - When I wanted to know some relevant facts about promotional products, I learned that the average promotional item is kept for approximately 7 months. This is a good reason to include all your contact information to make sure customers can find you months after you give them the item.
  • Prison Ministries - I wanted to know how prison ministries work in larger cities. In the state of New York, more prisons are not served by prison ministries than are. That's unfortunate because prison ministry can help inmates turn their lives around, become more productive after they leave jail, and give them hope for the future.
  • Retirement Centers - In the third book of my Uptown Belles series, the heroine moves to New York to help her great aunt. When she realizes her aunt needs more than she can offer, she goes on a hunt for a nice retirement center that offers the comforts of home. Manhattan has quite a few apartments that cater to retirees, but they come with a steep price tag. Most of them offer some nice amenities, such as dining, fitness programs, chapels, hair salons, coordinated excursions, and social opportunities.


CatMom said...

Debby, this post made me smile. So many times I've gotten off on a "rabbit trail" while researching, and even though it uses up more time, I'm happy that I've learned something. Besides, if we're ever on the TV game show "Jeopardy" all that info. just might come in handy, LOL!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Debby Mayne said...

Patti Jo,
Glad to know I'm in good company. Maybe doing all this research is why I'm getting better at Jeopardy.