Lynne Stringer – Author & Editor

There’s a reason the majority of my trilogy was set in outer space. Why?

I hate research.

Which is not to say that I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t like to know information about something. Sometimes the information I store in my head is amazing. But that has to be about a topic of particular interest to me, like dogs and birds. When I’m not that interested in finding out about something the desire to research tends to be non-existent.

It can be especially hard when writing a novel because sometimes I need to include something when I have no experience with it. For example, mediation between two estranged parties is a major feature in the manuscript I am currently working on. Now, I’d always known that this would be something I would need to research before I started writing about it, as I have never experienced it myself. However, for some reason when I sat down to write How Far Forgive I forgot all about checking it with someone. This may be because I wasn’t sure who to ask. Who do you contact about something like that?

Once I’d written the first draft I had some social work friends look at it, as it has a character studying social work in it as well. One of them pointed out that they weren’t sure if I’d put the mediation scene properly, or even if mediation would be allowed legally in the situation I described.

Oh, no! It’s a major part of my novel. What if I can’t do it that way? Not only would it mean a major rewrite, it might make the climax and resolution of the plot fell down flat. So much depended on it. And who did I ask to find out?

Fortunately, I remembered the friend of a friend who I thought might have some idea. I got his contact details and bingo! He didn’t know himself, but he knew someone who lectures in mediation. What I wrote is apparently okay, although I will need to make some minor adjustments. Phew! Bullet dodged!

Next time I hope I’ll remember to do the research up front, but knowing me, it probably won’t happen!

How about you? If you’re a reader, does it bother you if an author has written something that you think isn’t accurate? Are you an author yourself? What do you do in these situations?

Facebook Comments

2 Responses

  1. When has reality ever gotten in the way of a good story line, hence rapid typing to stop a hacking attempt, instant fingerprint searches and accurate shooting with a pistol when the bad guys have 20 machine guns. But it is always nice when the writer shows they have done at least some research. The reason I like Bernard Cornwall books is he always has an epilogue about what is real and what isn’t in his stories and often how the location has changed from the time of his story to now.