One of the key mistakes that novice writers make is depending solely in imagination. Even if it was sci-fi or fantasy and had no elements of reality whatsoever, you would still need some sort of research regarding plots, characters props etc. A good imagination and an eye for detail are the key elements of a successful novel – just ask J. K. Rowling. If you’re thinking of writing a novel, and if it has any association to reality (or at least elements of reality), then here are some ways in which you can research it.
Go On Location
One of the best ways of gathering info about a place is to go there. Be warned: you might want to find St Kilda accommodation apartments. Gathering material on location is one of the most fascinating and absorbing tasks about putting a story together because you will definitely find things you never anticipated but work well within the narrative. In such cases you might have to stay longer than you planned for initially, so hotel rooms aren’t going to cut it.
Also, hotels prevent you from experiencing any location as is, so the best options are long stay accommodation like unassuming inns and guesthouses. Get the maximum benefit out of your stay by recording everything you see, hear and even taste and smell; all of this could come in handy later.
Talk to People
There’s no rule that you can only write what you know; but writing what you don’t know is risky because it can easily become stereotyped or one dimensional. To avoid that you can talk to people who have been through the experiences you want to write about. The internet has every kind of forum, discussion group and messaging board you can think of; log onto a few and talk to people about the nuances in the subjectivities of characters and events unfamiliar to you. One of the biggest accusations levelled at authors is that they paint with too broad a stroke when it comes to characters they are not familiar with; writer Jojo Moyes has been criticized for writing a disabled characters in a generalized way as if they were all despairing and suicidal, when in fact, there are many disabled people whose experiences are very different and inspiring.
Hit the Library
Believe it or not, dusty old libraries contain plenty of information that you can use. They also house very knowledgeable people who could probably help you with details for your narrative. A library will have informational books on many different subjects and you can reference them so that your details are accurate. In many instances, writers manage to find everything they want in libraries and other informational centres and don’t ever need to go ‘on location’ for research. The action-thriller writer Matthew Reilly famously set his novel Ice Station in Antarctica but never visited there once.