Neil V. Young on His Research Process for Writing Fiction

Nobody has a weirder internet search history than a fiction writer. Novels often require authors to learn about all kinds of random trivia, like how tall sequoias typically grow, the potency of cyanide, and the amount of time someone with asthma can hold their breath. While these facts may not show up on jeopardy, they can be crucial for making a story believable. Some authors are more detail-oriented than others, and the internet makes it easier than ever to find the details needed. A famous pre-internet example of extreme research is James Joyce writing his aunt to ask if she could go and measure the height of the railings of a certain flat in Dublin. Neil V. Young, author and technical writer, explains his research process for fiction books. He writes the technology or situation first, then researches to make sure it can work or he alters it for scientific accuracy. Young has learned some interesting facts in his research, such as the dimensions of a cow skull and the details of how electronic locks work. While he does use the internet to research, he also researches by asking friends, colleagues, subject matter experts, and online groups. Learn more about doing thorough research for your stories in the clip below.


Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn