The 3 Levels Of Book Research

December 27, 20213 min. Read

It begins with a spark — an idea for writing a book. Then that spark snowballs to form the concept and perhaps the outline. Now you need to develop the meat of your book by researching.

‌How to do book research

‌Researching a book is the fun part for some authors and a necessary evil for others. No matter how you feel about doing research, it creates a quality book.

There are many research methods, but every author should include these three levels of book research. Learn more about each research methodology level to enhance your researching skills.


1. Basic Information

Begin your researching journey slow by finding basic information about the settings in your book. Some basic location information to research includes:

  • Climate
  • Topography
  • Common foods
  • Regional dialects
  • Common slang
  • Population size
  • Famous landmarks

Also, just because basic research is the first level doesn’t mean you have to complete it all prior to beginning your writing. As your story develops, you will likely need to do additional basic research.  

‌2. Understanding of Tropes

Tropes can be a word, phrase, or image you reimagine in a new and refreshing way. Using tropes can be tricky because you don’t want to lose your reader by utilizing one that is very common. 

However, if you can create a completely fresh concept for a trope, your book will be successful. Publishers can also be impressed by exciting twists on familiar tropes.

A few commonly used tropes include:

  • Reluctant hero
  • Chosen one
  • Enemies become lovers
  • Damsel in distress
  • Femme fatale
  • Trusty sidekick
  • Wise old man
  • Cop falls in love with a criminal
  • Ugly character becomes beautiful

‌3. Understanding Your Characters

The final research level might seem simple, but it is often the most difficult. Understanding your characters requires you to establish a plethora of character traits. 

As a person, you only know your point of view. However, your characters need variety in personalities and points of view when you write a book. If all of your characters share your point of view, your book will be very dull. 

The following list is a few traits you should consider while creating and researching your characters:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Sexual orientation
  • History
  • Backstory
  • Disabilities
  • Physical appearance
  • Accent

Additionally, make sure you avoid stereotypes. The internet can be helpful when researching demographics for your characters. However, the best sources are actual people from the demographic you want to write about. 

Conducting interviews with people from various demographics will help you accurately develop your characters. If you don’t personally know anyone in the specific demographic you are writing about, try using social media to find groups of people who fit and might be willing to speak with you. 

How Palmetto Publishing Can Help You

The professional editors at Palmetto Publishing can help to make sure that there aren’t any holes in your research. Our editorial team will go over your work with a fresh pair of eyes and help you find any potential stereotypes and/or missing information. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Related Articles