CBCBooks on  Twitter CBCBooks on Facebook

Giles Blunt: Write first, research later

To this IMPAC-longlisted crime writer, research can be the procrastinator's best friend.
How much research should you do for a novel? As little as possible and as much as necessary. Research is a foolproof way to feel like a writer without actually writing anything. It can give you a spurious sense of importance, as if scribbling down a fact somehow lends weight to your literary efforts. Far too many would-be authors spend years 'organizing their materials,' instead of writing something. Far better to finish a draft, then ask your questions, which will be much more focused. And keep in mind, no one will be impressed with your ability to use Google."

Giles Blunt grew up in North Bay, Ontario, a small city similar to the Algonquin Bay of the John Cardinal novels. The first Cardinal novel, Forty Words for Sorrow, won the British Crime Writers Silver Dagger award, and the second, The Delicate Storm, won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis award for best novel. He has been twice longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC award. His latest novel is Until The Night.

«Read more Writing Tips


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.

set count down final date: 11/01/2014
set count up final date: 11/01/2014
show ENTER NOW menu 0