Thursday, August 15, 2013

Writing and Research

I'm working on Lamentations of a Warrior, the sequel to my first novel, Sojourner's Dream.  I started writing Lamentations of a Warrior in 2006.  Since my duties as a mother and a wife are first priority, not to mention that I was working a full-time job, the writing process was slow.  My family had been supportive of my writing the first novel, yet they wanted their attention, too.  So, the sequel was often put on the back burner, so to speak.  Nonetheless, I'm continuing on with writing the sequel, Lamentations of a Warrior, and moving toward the finish line.

One of the most interesting and time consuming aspects of the writing process, specially for historical fiction, is research.  I read a great blog article entitled "Know Thy Stuff – Why Research is Important" by Jodi Milner (My Literary Dream) yesterday about the importance of researching for a novel.  This article reminded me of the years of research that I did for my first novel, Sojourner's Dream.  The research that I did was absolutely necessary in order to write about the Rwandan genocide of 1994.  Luckily, I love to read about history, so researching was not tedious to me.  It was intriguing, and even exciting.   It was also extremely sad, at times, as I read about the depths of the horrors which innocent people had experienced, yet I digress.
To provide accurate and believable settings and situations in their stories, fiction writers may need to do extensive research.  I started writing my first novel, Sojourner's Dream, in 2002 and completed it in 2006.  Part of the reason that it took me four years to complete it was the extensive research that I had to do on Rwandan history.  In reference to Rwandan history and culture, I read dozens of books and newspaper and magazine articles.  I spent time in local libraries and in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  I watched many documentaries, and I interviewed a Rwandan person whose family was brutally murdered during the 100 days of this genocide in 1994.  I had travelled to three African countries prior to writing Sojourner’s Dream, yet not Rwanda, so, my research was critical.

What is one of your specific writing challenges?
By Angeline Bandon-Bibum

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