Some books require vivid imagination. Some books require tons of research.
Now, you might think I’m talking fiction vs. nonfiction. But a lot of fiction requires extensive research. Historicals - learning about the time, language, clothes of the period, etc. Mysteries/Suspense - discovering how various poisons work or how FBI agents behave, and so forth. SciFi/Fantasy - creating imaginary worlds, beings and science that have a believable basis.
The author has to do all the work of making sure it’s believable, accurate, and thorough. That research can take hours, days, weeks, months. Even years, in some cases. It can be exhilarating to find all the answers, to know you’ve gotten it right, and to share it with your readers.
And that’s where authors can sometimes make a big mistake.
Putting all that research in a book can be a killer error. Instead of sounding almost like a nonfiction, believable and real, it comes across as info dump. It puts the reader to sleep or makes them skip pages of facts and information. Instead of white space that makes the reader want to keep reading, the pages are ink, ink, ink, ink -- that can make them skip or drift off into nap land.
Talk to your readers. Is your book reading like a history lesson? A textbook? A how-to on herding goats, or whatever? Do you really need all that? Would your book be better off if it were less dense or pedantic? Can you get across the idea, concept, or material without breaking it down into minute steps or dragging your readers along on your months of research?
You don’t want to cut everything you’ve learned. The book needs to be believable. Just keep in mind that the book also needs to be readable.
3 months ago