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More on researching your novel: chaos unwound

I'm always interested in how individual writers write. The whole process fascinates me, especially since it's so different for everyone. 
Here's more on researching for your (fiction or fantasy) novel, this time from Shannon Hale, who, by the way, is doing a great little series of blog posts where she goes through her award-winning Princess Academy chapter by chapter, analyzing and answering questions. 

Someone asked if Shannon did all her research for the book as she wrote the first draft, or if she wrote first and then researched to fill in the gaps. 
Shannon: "I do minimal research before beginning, write the first draft or two, and then do more intensive research, so that I already know what I'm looking for. I like the story to lead the research, not the other way around. I know other writers research in different ways."

Another chaos-writer. I'm feeling a bond. Only, the way she describes it, the whole process sounds rather orderly. Just a different kind of order. Maybe not chaos at all. Maybe an unwritten story has a life of its own that only needs to be discovered.

Order leading chaos, which unwinds itself into something not very chaotic at all.

Are life and chaos the same?


  1. LOL, in this context, I think life and chaos IS the same!

    I'm like Shannon. My Desolation series is kind of a mash-up between Christian and Norse mythologies. I just write what I want, then check to see afterwards if I was right (or close enough). Works for me!


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