When I went to grad school for my library degree, people had different responses. I got a few, “what, you’re gonna learn the alphabet?” Other people thought it was cool because they “love to read!” My aunt’s response was the funniest to me. She told me she “loved to do research.” I laughed because I don’t.
I started my library career as a reference librarian. Research was what I did. And I enjoyed it, mostly, but more for the puzzle it offered than any real desire to dive deeply into something. I’ve always been an inch thick-mile wide kind of person. It’s why I say I’m a nerd, not a geek. I just don’t have the attention span to know everything about a topic (like my nephew and Star Wars. Kid’s a total geek). The only good thing about research was that I’d learned to do it efficiently. Go in, get the info I needed, get out.
I don’t think my attitude has changed much over the years. I do enjoy it a little more when I can direct it. When I’m writing, it comes in pretty darn handy. Love me some Google when I want to see what a curricle looks like, or what the streets of Victoria, BC were like in 1914, or where one might get married in London in 1850. The best part is when I randomly find an element that works so well in my story.
For example, the Savoy Chapel is showing up in my current work in progress, a historical romance. I needed a smallish church in a certain part of London in the 1800’s. I looked at a couple of places, then found that Wikipedia entry that gives me a little history. One line clicked:
An Anglican place of worship, the chapel was noted in the 18th and 19th centuries as a place where marriages without banns might occur outside of the usual parameters of ecclesiastical law of that time.
Well, my couple are getting a quickie wedding to avoid scandal (as one does). So, not only does it fit my physical and geographical requirements, it also fits in with the story. How perfect is that?