I used to be the absolute worst at research. It wasn’t the research process I couldn’t handle—just that my research never ended. I didn’t know when I had enough information to reinforce my outline. I never called my research “done” and turned my attention to writing.
A lot of my story ideas languished in the research phase, never making it to draft form. Certainly part of the problem was my inexperience. I didn’t know how to slap myself on the wrist and say, “You’ve googled enough.” But insecurity also played a big part. I had convinced myself that I didn’t know enough to write my stories well. I thought that if I just read one more book, watched one more video, visited one more museum, I would finally have “all the information” to write the story.
. . . .
Your Story Sounds Like a Textbook
People read textbooks to learn. They read fiction for entertainment. A book that is dry, lacking a compelling plot, and devoid of sympathetic characters will lose readers’ interest within five pages.
If this sounds like you, the problem might be that you’ve spent so long reading academic and technical books for your research that you’ve shut off your “fiction brain.”
. . . .
You’ve Forgotten What Your Story is Really About
Maybe when you started it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast set at the height of the Mongolian empire—and now there’s all kinds of stuff in there about bow mechanics, religious rituals, horses, a side plot about tattooing, and what was the climax supposed to be again?
It’s okay to be inspired by your research, as long as that research doesn’t send you off on a tangent (or twelve) that will confuse your view of the plot.
Link to the rest at Writerology