Amit Gawande

When writing, and also when doing research for writing, it’s important to get the details right, but that doesn’t always mean what you might think. Economy of detail is usually better than excess, which raises the critical question about which details matter most.

An insightful read this, Verisimilitude by Matt Gemmell. I found this suggestion really on the mark.

Research is a distillation. You’ll spend two hours reading, to get four paragraphs of notes, which provide eight words of story — but those eight words will take the reader into the world you’ve created, and create the impression that your character really is there, or really knows about this topic. Just make sure it’s either unremarkable that they would know those things, or that their knowledge has been explicitly accounted for.

While writing short stories that I based on some amount of research, I myself have struggled at times to know how much is enough. This was a good reminder from Matt.