Using research notes as a world building process for your novel

by Emanuel

2022, Asengana, Writing life
September 13, 2022

I have yet to meet an author that doesn’t put time and effort into their research for a new novel. As any writer knows, research is essential to creating a believable and engaging story. However, the process of gathering information can sometimes feel like a never-ending task. One way to stay organized and make the most of your research is to create a central repository for all your notes. This can be a physical notebook, an online document, or even a dedicated folder on your computer. The research output of a writer can mean a full world building wiki website or a bunch the folder and documents.

When we created the Research Notes module for Asengana we followed these three main ideas:

  1. Create a notes structure that can fit notes as well as basic world building
  2. Time management – easy accessible, available anytime and anywhere, limit overextension
  3. Enrich and reuse

1 Create a Research Notes structure that can fit simple notes as well as basic world building

Gather all your notes and research in one place. Use a world-building wiki approach for your book research. You can have the Research Notes as world building components – Geography, People, Culture, Economy and more.

The Research Notes structure has a note / sub note split. World building can start from anywhere depending on the genre from studies in anthropology, political science, psychology, biology, ecology, history, geology, banking, education, medicine, economics, technology, or engineering to insights you get in the middle of the night. In your writing journey, take note not only of the facts but also of your reactions and impressions. These insights will not only help to flesh out your characters and plot.

2 Time management – easy accessible, available anytime and anywhere, limit overextension

It’s hard to keep track of all the great ideas you have for your book and blog posts. Not only do you have to worry about keeping track of your ideas, but you also have to make sure that your research is well-organized and easy to find. If you’re not careful, you might lose some of your best ideas or spend hours trying to track them down. With Asengana, you can easily gather all of your notes and research in one place so that you always have everything at your fingertips. As smartphones are ever present in our life and hands, there is no simpler way of preserving an idea that you have about one of your books and add them into a note to that specific writing project.

3 Enrich and reuse

Use the notes for your story and also to create content for blog posts to promote your book. We have a full article about this and the 3 recipes for writing blog posts we recommend:

  1. The expert’s opinion
  2. You will remember everything I tell you
  3. The scraps from last night’s dinner

In conclusion:

As you begin to write your novel, it can be helpful to have all of your notes and research gathered in one place. By using a world-building wiki approach for your book research, you can easily keep track of all the different aspects of the world you are creating. As you add new information, you can simply add it to the appropriate page on your wiki. This will help you to keep your world building consistent and easy to reference as you write. Plus, by making your research available to others, you may even get some helpful feedback that can improve your story. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how helpful a world-building Research Notes module can be.

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