So I spent the weekend not writing. Instead, I researched.
I really, really try to only do ad hoc research for stories because I know that if I start doing preemptive/preliminary/preparatory research, it will eat my soul–and my time, which is more valuable. But I started looking up a fairly, or so I thought, simple detail about Buddhism as practiced in Japan, and that led to the Meiji Restoration, which led to some interesting things about Shintoism…and, well, soul-eating was had.
And now I’m behind where I want to be on the short story. Sigh. Stupid inquisitive, obsessive-compulsive brain.
See, this is why I usually try to write stories that don't require any research. ;-)
Mind you, I've failed at that, since the main character of the short story you just read is also the MC of my latest novel, and that required tons of research. And I've got several more characters in mind for future work, and they're also research-heavy. But in those cases, yeah, I actually tend to do a lot of research/reading up-front. If I tried to do it all while writing, I'd average about 120 words a day. (As it is, I still wind up doing a lot of ad hoc research, to fill in gaps/specifics as I come across them.)
I'm totally digging my own grave on the research thing. I keep setting my stories in similar milieu thinking, "I've already done the research for Y project, so I won't need to do any for this one." And then, of course, I come across some esoteric little detail that I have to have for the story to work, and I reemerge two days later with several pages of notes but not a single word of prose, wondering what'n heck happened.
I don't learn. Sigh.
Sad thing is, I've written several stories featuring aspects of Shintoism already, but I never seem to re-use material I've already researched. I always end up treading new ground that I need to research. Stupid muse. Stupid brain. *grumble grumble grumble*