Has this ever happened to you: you’re in the zone, the NaNoWriMo words are flowing, then your character does something and you have to pause and think, ‘Is that right?’.

Maybe your American protagonist is in Paris and he’s stopped to buy a snack. You write that he buys a Clif bar, but are Clif bars actually sold in France?

Maybe you’re writing a Victorian murder-mystery set in New York. Your character hails a taxi. What does that taxi look like? Is it a horse driven hansom cab? In what year were those introduced to New York? When did they stop using them? When were they replaced by gasoline driven cabs?

Maybe you’re writing a story set in space. Goodness, there are so many things to think about. There’s all sort of questions about physics, and you need to come up with your own technologies to power your spaceships! Help me, Neil DeGrasse Tyson!!

No matter what genre your NaNoWriMo project, there are aspects that need to be researched. Making a mistake in your research can be incredibly jarring to any reader who knows you’re wrong. So it’s important to make sure what you’re writing is as factually accurate as possible. The problem is research is a massive time suck. The simplest questions can take ages to hunt down answers. This is your writing time, you don’t want to spend your time falling into a Wikihole: researching one topic and then getting distracted by reading other articles on Wikipedia.  

Avoid this, and save time, by skipping the research. Just don’t do it. Skip over anything that needs research. BUT! Make a note that you won’t lose track off, to come back and do it later. Don’t take up precious writing time with googling answers. Set aside research time, where you can knock out some of these questions in a more efficient way. In the meantime…keep writing! Don’t let research get in the way of your momentum!

Keep writing! You’ve got this.

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